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Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking?

Every air conditioning problem is inconvenient. However, no issue is as worrisome — or potentially costly — as a leak. Whether you’ve recently spotted water pooling around the outdoor condenser unit or dripping from the air handler, it’s understandable if you’re panicking. Where there is a water leak, water damage is never far behind.

Why is your air conditioner leaking? There is more than one potential reason for this particular problem. Fortunately, we’re here to walk you through each of them to help you understand what you’re dealing with.

Clogged Air Filter

Most HVAC systems have an air filter that needs to be replaced regularly. This is because a dirty air filter can lead to many problems with your air conditioner, including poor airflow and insufficient cooling. It stands to reason that a filter problem could also be why your air conditioner is leaking.

Check for Frozen Evaporator Coils

When you notice your AC unit leaking water, consider checking the evaporator coils. Poor airflow can cause the evaporator coils to freeze. These coils are located in the air handler, and when they form a layer of ice, they may occasionally thaw and result in dripping water.

Don’t let this potential reason for air conditioner water leaks continue unaddressed. The longer you wait, the worse the problem can become. If you think this is why your air conditioner is leaking, it’s fairly easy to replace an HVAC air filter; you can usually purchase replacements at a home improvement store.

The top HVAC companies will recommend changing the air filter every 90 days. However, you might want to replace this vital component about every 60 days if you have pets in your home or use your air conditioning unit constantly.

Blocked Condensate Drain Line

The outdoor condenser unit contains many parts that can malfunction or experience issues over time. For example, clogged condensate drain lines are another common reason for air conditioner water leaks.

When your air conditioner creates condensation during the cooling process, this extra moisture is sent to a drain line. From here, the condensation is removed from the unit. If you’ve found your AC leaking water, this drain line may be clogged and unable to remove the condensation. When this moisture builds up, it can lead to a frustrating and inconvenient leak.

Corroded Drain Pan

Another potential reason for air conditioner water leaks is a damaged drain pan — otherwise known as a “drip pan.” Once the heat has been removed from the air inside your home, the condensation is sent to a drain pan, where it flows into the drain line.

If this drain pan is damaged or rusted, the water can wind up leaking out of the unit. You’ll likely find puddles around the condenser unit as a result.

Condensate Pump Failure

If your air conditioning unit is located in the basement, you need a condensate pump that will help carry the condensation up and outside of your home. However, a faulty pump can sometimes be the reason for air conditioner water leaks.

Whether the component has developed cracks or you’re simply dealing with a malfunction, a broken condensate pump should be fixed quickly. The sooner you address the problem, the sooner you can get your AC running like normal.

Low Refrigerant Levels

While water leaks are a major concern, you should also be on the lookout for potential refrigerant leaks. AC systems rely on refrigerant during the cooling process. However, as your unit gets older, its parts can start to experience wear and tear. This damage sometimes leads to a refrigerant leak.

It can be difficult and dangerous to diagnose a refrigerant problem on your own, so always reach out to a professional technician for help.

Is a Leaking Air Conditioner an Emergency?

Now that you know the potential reasons why your air conditioner is leaking, you might be wondering how severe of a problem it is. So, how urgent is an AC leak?

When it comes down to it, it’s usually best to have the problem fixed as soon as possible. Even minor issues, such as a dirty air filter, can lead to expensive troubles down the road — including high energy bills and water damage.

Contact Arlinghaus for AC Services You Can Trust

No homeowner wants to find their air conditioner leaking water — especially when the outdoor weather is hot and humid. If you find yourself needing a repair, don’t hesitate to call Arlinghaus. Our family-owned company is here to help keep your family comfortable no matter the season.

Leaking air conditioners are no minor problem. If you’re ready to schedule a service with our Boone County heating and air conditioning experts, give us a call today!