Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water Inside?

image of air conditioner leaking water inside the home

Water coming out of your air conditioner? While a small trickle is no cause for concern, it is always a good idea to check your air conditioner regularly to make sure that you can spot problems at the earliest time.

Read on to know the most common reasons for an air conditioner leaking water inside and what you can do to prevent your air conditioning problems from getting worse.

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How & Why Water Forms in Your Air Conditioner

Water formation is normal in working air conditioner units. Your air conditioning unit works by drawing air from the outside and this air is passed through evaporator coils. These coils contain cold refrigerant which draws heat from the air, cooling it down. This process also causes moisture to condense on the coils, which appear as water droplets. Some of the moisture plays a part in keeping the coils cool. The rest of the water goes through a drainage tube at the back of the air conditioner.

Water produced while your air conditioner is on is a good sign. It means that your cooling unit is working properly. In fact, you should start to worry if your unit is not producing water when it is on since this could be a sign of a problem. For example, the water may be draining in another part of the unit where it is not visible, or it is not draining properly at all and freezing ice on the coils.

Normal water production for a working air conditioner can range from 6 to 20 gallons a day. You may notice the amount of water increases as the weather gets more humid. You may have a problem if your unit is producing too much water that it starts to flood that area of your house.

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How Do I Know If My Air Conditioner Is Leaking Water?

The most obvious sign that your air conditioner is leaking water is if water is coming from somewhere else and not through the cooling system’s water drain at the back of your unit. Water may be pooling under another side of your A/C unit. You may notice a significant flow of water running down the wall where your unit is installed. It is always important to note where you can normally find water droplets when your air conditioner is running, so you can quickly spot anything that’s out of the ordinary.

Causes For An Air Conditioner That Is Leaking Water

If you are sure that your water is abnormally leaking water the next step is to figure out the likely cause for the leak. The most common causes include:

A Clogged Air Conditioner Drain Line

clogged air conditioner drain line

Your air conditioning unit comes with a drainpipe or hose that connects to the unit and drains water out from the drain pan. The drain line pushes excess water from the air conditioning system to the outside. However, as your air conditioner gets older sludge and other debris can form on the inner walls of your drain pipe. These eventually block the passage of the water, causing water to pool in the drain pan. If you notice your drain pan getting full each time you turn on the AC, this could be a likely cause.

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Your Air Conditioner Has a Leaking Or Full Drain Pan

A full drain pan can also overflow. In the summer your air conditioning may drain up to 20 gallons of water per day especially if humidity levels are high. Simply remove the plug on your drain pan to let the water flow out. Your drain pan could also be leaky or damaged. Drain pans can crack or become rusted over time. Check your drain pan for damage especially if your AC is already a few years old.

Dirty Air Conditioner Air Filter

image of an hvac air filter replacement due to dirty air filter

Infrequent filter changes and an old air conditioning unit can lead to dirty air filters. Dirty air filters prevent air from flowing through your AC system. When this happens, moisture is trapped inside and it turns into ice crystals that form on the coils and even on the air filters. As your cooling unit keeps on running, these ice crystals can melt again and start leaking out of your drain pan.

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Broken Air Conditioning Condensate Pump

Some air conditioners come with condensate pumps that push excess water outside. If your unit works with a condensate pump and you are suddenly seeing unusual leaking this could be the culprit. You will need a professional HVAC technician to replace or repair a broken pump.

Your Air Conditioner is Low on Refrigerant

charging air conditioner with refrigerant

Your air conditioner may be low on refrigerant if you notice that your home is no longer as cool as it used to be, despite the fact that the cooling settings in your air conditioner remain the same. Low refrigerant levels can lead to water leaks because they can lead to a loss of pressure inside the cooling system. Lowered pressure can lead to freezing coils and excess moisture that will overflow your drain pan. Another symptom of a refrigerant leak or low refrigerant levels is a hissing sound when your AC unit is turned on. If you see these signs get in touch with an HVAC professional right away.

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Ice On Air Conditioner Evaporator Coils

Ice can form on evaporator coils because moisture caused by condensation does not have anywhere else to go. As mentioned above, this could be caused by a dirty air filter that blocks the passage of air through the cooling unit. Ice forms and then melts, leaking water onto your drain pan.

Other Reasons for AC Leaks: Incorrect Air Conditioner Installation

image of a modulating air conditioner installation

Another often overlooked reason for water leaks in your AC is faulty installation. For example, if the unit is not installed on a leveled surface, water can flow out. Water can also fill unevenly in the overflow tub, causing it to spill and leak before it gets full. If you have a window air conditioner, the unit may have been installed at a downward angle causing water to leak inside. A simple solution is to tilt the unit a little backward to allow water to drain to the back. If your air conditioner is new and you are already seeing leaks, your air conditioning unit may have been improperly installed. Make sure that you get a professional HVAC crew to install a new AC unit to avoid problems like these.

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Avoid Common Air Conditioner Leaks: Work with a Professional HVAC Contractor

The best way to avoid common AC problems like leaks is to let the pros do the installation, maintenance, and repair. Proper installation alone can save you a lot of grief in the long run. Apart from the assurance that your unit is properly installed, you also get the benefit of a professional warranty, quality units and parts, as well as the right after-sales support so you can best take care of your air conditioner for optimum performance.

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Air conditioner problems are inevitable especially as your AC unit and HVAC system get older. Knowing the early signs of air conditioning problems like leaks is important so you can spot the problem and get your unit in good working order fast. You can also optimize the function of your AC, prolong its life span and ensure that your home stays comfortable in the summer or winter with professional support.

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McAllister EnergyMcAllister Energy offers superior heating and cooling services in Camden County, New Jersey. We hire the best-certified technicians who can provide you with excellent HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each of our techs has the knowledge and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.

McAllister Energy guarantees the most competitive heating and cooling service costs in the area. Our maintenance services can improve your comfort, increase your energy efficiency while reducing your home heating and cooling costs. If you happen to need an HVAC repair or replacement system, we can recommend the best one for your home while staying within your budget. We back all of our work with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. To schedule a service appointment, give McAllister Energy a call today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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