Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Reasons Why

An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by removing heat and humidity from the air. As the AC extracts humidity from the air, it creates condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is typically kept in a drain pan and transported through piping into your home’s drain system.

As a side effect, faulty components or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan within your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is decidedly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is kept in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In the bulk of homes, local codes demand a secondary or safety drain pan that is located underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan has piping that is directed to the outside of the home. In general, the outlet of the pipe is found above the outside of a window so it’s quickly noticeable if water starts draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water spilling from piping on the outside of your home, this is likely evidence the primary drain is backed up and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most common reasons for why your AC is leaking water and how to resolve the issue. Some homes will also use a safety device that can automatically turn off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is free of any obstructions. Regardless, if you find water leaking, make sure to set your thermostat to "off" to stop anymore water damage and get in touch with a Comfort Masters Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners often do best with professional support, which is why we’re here to assist you at Comfort Masters Service Experts. We consistently deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.*

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked

When hot, humid air moves over the evaporator coil, water appears on the chilly metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan under the indoor coil within the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence occurs, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan overflows.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris can clog the drain. This keeps the water from moving away properly. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Comfort Masters Service Experts for the peace of mind it’s handled properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will automatically switch off your AC just in case the drain becomes blocked again later on, thus preventing water damage inside your home. Of course, regular maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and unhampered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While uncommon, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes occur if someone is working around the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to see if the drain line is still fully connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we encourage calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue as soon as possible. Request an appointment with Comfort Masters Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners rely on a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are needed when the home’s drain system is found above the AC unit. Even if the drain is clear, water can collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is not functioning. First, make sure that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the problem, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should check with an air conditioning contractor like Comfort Masters Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Dirty or Broken

If you see small drips in favor of a bigger puddle near the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be bouncing off the evaporator coil compared to properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can be the case if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation protecting the coils redirect the water. The smartest approach to keep the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Comfort Masters Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you find a leak and the AC isn't cooling enough, the refrigerant level may be low due to a leak. Air conditioners rely on refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it checked thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is incredibly useful for the life span of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils could freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Despite some expectations, your AC does not need to be replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only necessary when a leak happens within the system. Call Comfort Masters Service Experts immediately to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter should be changed regularly to produce adequate airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils could become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to collect in the drain pan—potentially producing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem lasts, more repairs might be needed. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Comfort Masters Service Experts are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are made to run during warm weather. Running your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below will sometimes cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and potentially create an overflow due to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Comfort Masters Service Experts technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are made to last, but nothing survives forever. If you use an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan could be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak could appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Comfort Masters Service Experts can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working properly.

Our Experts Can Meet All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Comfort Masters Service Experts can help. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again without delay.

Our technicians are highly trained, knowledgeable and certified to provide dependable work. We have full confidence in our repairs—in fact, we back up everything we perform with a one-year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!*

We’ll even advise signing up for a worry-free membership plan. This could help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, faster so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house comfortable.

Contact us at 847-250-6729 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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