Reasons That Your Air Conditioner Could Be Leaking Water Inside Your House
When any appliance starts leaking unexpectedly, it is a red flag for homeowners. The same goes for your air conditioner. You may be wondering how an air conditioner can even leak water if it only handles air. Water primarily comes from the condensation and humidity pulled from the air as it circulates through your air conditioner.
There is another liquid that could be leaking from your air conditioner that is equally as concerning. This is refrigerant. Usually this only leaks from your outdoor unit, however. Either liquid can cause damage to your home or your system and be a sign that something is wrong with your air conditioner, so it is important to address any leaks you find right away.
Many times, a leaking air conditioner will need to be inspected and repaired by a qualified technician. Repair may be easier if you can determine where the leak is coming from beforehand. Listed below are the top reasons why your air conditioner may be leaking water inside of your house.
Condensate Drain Line Leak
As your air conditioner removes heat and moisture from your indoor air, the excess moisture collects on the evaporator coils and drains into a condensate drain line. Sometimes this line can get loose and leak. Other times, the line can become clogged with dirt and debris, which can cause slow flowing water to eventually backup or burst the line.
If the condensate drain line is leaking, call a professional right away to come to repair it. To avoid further leaking and damage to your home, turn off your air conditioner and clean up any water that has already leaked out of the line and wait to turn the unit back on until it is repaired.
Drain Pan or Pump
If the air handler portion of your air conditioner is located in your basement, you may also have a drain pan and pump that takes the excess moisture up and outside of your home. The drain pan may rust or form cracks over time, which can lead to leaks around the pan. You may be able to replace the pan yourself or call a professional to help.
The condensate pump is what works against gravity to take the water from the pan up and out of the house through the drain line. If the pump isn’t working, then the drain pan can overflow with water and leak onto the ground. If your pan is full, you may need a professional to come to check and repair the pump. Regular inspections can help alert you to when a pump is nearing the end of its life and needs to be replaced before it unexpectedly breaks down.
Frozen Evaporator Coils
Heat exchange between hot air and refrigerant occurs at the evaporator coils. An obstruction of airflow can cause these coils to freeze over, as the ratio of refrigerant to air supply is off-balance. When these coils unfreeze after the air conditioner shuts off, this excess water from the coils can leak out of the unit. Luckily, this can alert you to the problem before catastrophic damages occur.
To avoid this issue, make sure there are no internal or external obstructions around the air intake vents. It is essential that enough air can reach the coils so freezing doesn’t happen. Also, make sure you are frequently changing out the air filters. It is recommended that homeowners exchange their air filters every 1 to 3 months, more often if there are pets or allergy sufferers in the house. Even if an air filter doesn’t look dirty, it can be clogged with enough debris to reduce the efficiency of your system.
Low refrigerant can also cause the coils to freeze, as the internal pressure of the system is thrown off. You may have a leak in your refrigerant line that needs to be repaired if this is the case. Look around your outdoor unit for any signs of leaking and call a professional technician right away. Neglecting frozen coils can cause a breakdown for the compressor, which is expensive to repair and replace.
Frozen coils and leaking refrigerant lines should be immediately addressed so that the air conditioner doesn’t experience a compressor failure. If your air conditioner isn’t cooling as it used to or your hear hissing or bubbling noises coming from the air conditioner, your unit may be low on refrigerant. Shut off your air conditioner and have a professional come inspect your unit as soon as possible.