One of the most stressful things about home ownership is finding out you have an HVAC issue. The worry will double if you also have a water leak, since that could have a ripple effect and cause additional problems with puddles, unsightly stains, or mold growth.
If your air conditioner is leaking water, you have to nip the problem in the bud. To do so, you have to understand the possible culprits for the problem. Below, we provide you with a trusty overview.
Why Is My AC Leaking Water?
There are several reasons why an air conditioner leaks water:
1. Dirty Air Filters
Even though most people don’t walk around wondering when they should next change their air filters, it’s a home maintenance item that should always be prioritized. Think about it: air is full of pollutants that are nearly impossible to see with the naked eye, such as dust mites, pollen, dust, and pet dander. It’s only a matter of time before the filters are caked with debris.
If you don’t change them, all that dirt will block the airflow. This is a problem for several reasons: Air conditioners work by absorbing the warm air and humidity from your home. It then extracts the moisture, which drips into what’s called a drip pan. When air can’t move freely through the filters, (a) your energy bills will go up, and (b) instead of dripping water into the drip pan, the moisture droplets will freeze over the AC coils. The longer you wait, the thicker the ice becomes.
At some point, that ice will start to melt, causing the air conditioner to leak water.
2. Rusty Drip Pan
The drip pan we mentioned above is always wet. At some point, it’ll start to rust. If you provide your air conditioner with regular maintenance, the HVAC technician will notice this before it causes any issues and will get it replaced. You could also verify it on your own and purchase a new one.
3. Clogged Condensate Line
Once the drip pan is full of water, it’s filtered out of your home through a PVC pipe called the condensate line. Since it’s a wet, enclosed space, it’s a prime location for mildew to grow.
To prevent your AC condensate drain line from clogging, shut off power to your air conditioner. Flush the line with a cup of distilled white vinegar. Pour it slowly into the drain line and let the solution sit for half an hour before turning on your air conditioner again. If it’s already clogged, you can remove the lump with a shop vac. It bears repeating: always remember to shut off your AC before doing any type of troubleshooting!
For step by step directions, check out our article: How to Clean Your AC Drain Line With Vinegar
4. Faulty or Broken Condenser Pump
The condenser pump is the AC part that is responsible for getting water out of the drip pan and into the condensate line. It knows when to dump water because as the water level rises, so does a smaller part called a float. Once the float reaches the top, it turns on a switch that causes the water to drain out. Sometimes, the float will become stuck, which can be easily fixed by tapping it lightly. Other times, the pump can break down through regular wear and tear (which is another issue an HVAC technician could foresee through regular maintenance).
5. Improper Installation
Granted, this would only be an issue if you recently had your air conditioner installed. This can happen if the person who installed the unit is not a licensed technician. To verify, always check with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations.
Call Colman Heating & Air for AC Repair
At Colman Heating & Air, we want to help you create the most comfortable environment in your home. If you are in need of a new AC or an AC repair, call us at (321) 269-4565.