For Floridians, air conditioners are an essential part of life. They make you comfortable, keep mold from forming in your home, and provide a nice respite from the heat. However, when they’re not working properly, they can become the bane of your existence. And, one of the biggest annoyances with an AC that’s not working efficiently is leaking water. Why does it happen? What can you do to fix it?
6 Reasons Your Air Conditioner Is Leaking Water
Here are the top six reasons why your air conditioner is leaking water and what you can do about it.
1. Frozen Evaporator Coil
Even in a warm climate like Florida, the evaporator coil can become frozen.
Air conditioners work by absorbing the warm air inside your home, separating the humidity from it, cooling it with refrigerant, and releasing the cool air through the air vents. This process is efficient if you change your air filters regularly, since letting them collect too much dust blocks airflow. When this occurs, the moisture from the air turns into ice on the AC coils. As they start to melt, you’ll notice water droplets leaking from your air conditioner.
To prevent this from happening, change your air filters between one and three months.
2. Broken Condenser Pump
As mentioned above, air conditioners separate the moisture in the air, causing drops of condensation to drip into what’s called a drip pan. When the pan is full, the water is siphoned out through a pipe called the condensate line, thanks to a part called the condensate pump. As the water level rises, the liquid lifts a float which triggers a switch that turns on the pump motor. In turn, the water is forced outside of your home through a drain line.
To test whether the pump is working, pour water in the condenser pan and see if the pump properly removes the excess water. If it doesn’t, the problem is with the pump, and you can purchase a new one at any hardware store. Make sure to note the make and model of your air conditioner. If the water is not pumped, the issue is likely with the motor or the condenser. For this, you’ll need to call an HVAC technician.
3. Rusted Drip Pan
Since the drip pan is exposed to water on a daily basis, rust is simply part of its regular wear and tear. While you can purchase a new one from a hardware store, you should call an HVAC technician to help you with the installation. If you choose to go the DIY route, always remember to shut off power to your air conditioner first.
Related article: How to Replace an AC Drain Pain
4. Clogged Drain Line
The drain line is a PVC pipe that filters water from your air conditioner to the exterior of your home. Since it’s an enclosed, wet space, it’s a perfect location for sludge to form, and for mold and mildew to grow.
Just as dirty air filters block airflow, so can a clogged drain line. To clean it, shut off power to your AC. Locate the drain line: If you live in a home, it’ll be outside, by the condenser unit. If you live in an apartment, it’s likely located in the same closet as your AC. Remove the cap, and slowly pour one cup of distilled white vinegar or peroxide. Let the solution sit for half an hour. Repeat this process every month.
5. Refrigerant Leak
Refrigerant is a gas that turns warm air into cool air. When an air conditioner is in good condition, refrigerant levels will remain the same. However, wear and tear, off-gassing from furniture or hardwood floors, certain construction materials, such as formaldehyde, or chemicals in some cleaning supplies may cause pinholes to form on your air conditioner. As a result, refrigerant may leak from them.
Signs of a refrigerant leak include a hissing sound, frost forming on the condenser unit, an AC that doesn’t cool your home, and you or family members experiencing headaches, dizziness, nausea, sore throat, or irritated eyes.
If such is the case, call an HVAC technician immediately, since prolonged exposure to refrigerant leaks could lead to poisoning.
6. Improper Installation of Your Air Conditioner
Improper installation of your air conditioner. In the age of YouTube and HowStuffWorks, it’s tempting for regular Joes to try to do many home projects, including complex ones, such as installing an air conditioner. The problem with this is that if the system slightly tilts to one side, you may end up with pooled condensation, which in turn, causes water to drip from your AC. Even if you decide to hire an HVAC technician, always check with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations to ensure they are licensed to get the job done.
Contact Sansone for AC Repair in South Florida
As Florida homeowners, we rely on our air conditioning systems to keep us cool and comfortable for the better part of the year. That’s why it’s important to have a reliable air conditioning company you can call when you need fast service. At Sansone, we offer an extensive list of products and services designed to keep your home cool and comfortable for less.
Contact us today if your AC is leaking water or if you’re in need of any other air conditioning, electrical, or plumbing services in the South Florida area.