An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by extracting heat and humidity from the air. As the AC extracts humidity from the air, it produces condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is typically kept in a drain pan and moved through piping into your home’s drain system.
Unfortunately, faulty components or sludge buildup may cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water returns to the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then leak into your home. This is especially troublesome if your furnace or air handler is installed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.
In a majority of homes, building codes necessitate a secondary or safety drain pan that is found underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan has piping that is sent to the outside of the home. In general, the outlet of the pipe is placed above the outside of a window so it’s more 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 blocked and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.
Here are the most common explanations for why your AC is leaking water and how to repair the issue. Some homes can also possess a safety device that should automatically shut off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is cleared of any obstructions. Regardless, if you spot water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to "off" to prevent any further water damage and get in touch with a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning service provider to correct the issues.
Leaking air conditioners routinely need professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We happily deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.*
1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked
When hot, humid air reaches the evaporator coil, water condenses on the chilly metal surface. In the end, the water drains into a pan beneath the indoor coil inside the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence takes place, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan overflows.
However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris could clog the drain. This stops the water from moving away like it’s supposed to. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for the peace of mind it’s performed properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will autonomously switch off your AC if the drain becomes backed up again later on, thus preventing water damage in your home. Of course, consistent maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and unobstructed.
2. Drain Line Is Disconnected
While not very common, the drain line connection to the drain pan may become loose or disconnected. This can occur if someone is working close to the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Inspect your AC to determine if the drain line is still attached to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue immediately. Request an appointment with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today.
3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working
Some air conditioners rely on a condensate pump to efficiently drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is located above the AC unit. Even if the drain is clear, water could back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is inoperable. First, make sure that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to resolve the issue.
4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Broken
If you see small drips rather than a larger puddle close to the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be bouncing off the evaporator coil compared to properly flowing into the drain pan and condensate line. This can be the case if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation around the coils redirect the water. The smart approach to keep the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning membership.
5. Low Refrigerant Level
If you uncover a leak and the AC isn't cooling like it’s supposed to, the refrigerant level may be low because of a leak. Air conditioners count on refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it looked at consistently during seasonal maintenance is highly important for the longevity of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils might freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Contrary to some expectations, your AC does not need to be recharged unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only necessary when a leak appears in the system. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning as soon as you can to repair AC refrigerant issues quickly.
6. Dirty Air Filter
Your air conditioner's filter has to be changed regularly to produce proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to collect in the drain pan—potentially causing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem persists, additional repairs will sometimes be the best option. Luckily, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets solved.
7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC
Air conditioners are built to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder can cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and may lead to an overflow thanks to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.
8. Damaged Drip Pan
Air conditioners are designed to last, but nothing lasts forever. If you use an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan might be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak might appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning 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, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again right away.
Our technicians are thoroughly trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete exceptional 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 recommend a worry-free membership plan. This can help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, more quickly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house comfortable.
Contact us at (713) 352-7887 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!