A water leak is never a good thing in your home, as it can cause significant damage to drywall, wood, and insulation, while also encouraging mold and mildew growth. If water is leaking from your air conditioner, it typically indicates that there is a problem with the condensate drain, though it may also be caused by a clogged air filter, duct obstructions, or low refrigerant levels.
Here are some possible reasons why your air conditioner might be leaking:
As an air conditioner cools your home, it also draws moisture from the air, reducing the humidity. This moisture collects on the cool surface of the evaporator as the air from your home is blown over it. Normally, the moisture falls harmlessly into a drip tray below the evaporator, and it is disposed of through a condensate drain that leads outdoors or into your home’s drain system. If the drip tray is damaged or the condensate drain is clogged, water can leak from the AC unit.
Check the drip tray for corrosion, cracks, or other damage, and have a professional repair or replace it, if necessary. If the drip tray is not damaged, or it has standing water, the condensate drain may be clogged by algae or debris. Use a shop vacuum, compressed air, or a thin, flexible wire to dislodge any clogs. If your AC unit is located in a basement, a condensate pump may be necessary to remove the water from the drip tray. Make sure the pump operates as the tray is filled, and if not, have it replaced.
A lack of airflow over the evaporator can allow it to become too cold, causing the condensed moisture to freeze. Once the air conditioner cycles off, this ice can melt, spilling water from the AC unit. Typically, a lack of airflow is caused by a dirty air filter, blocked return vents, or obstructions in the air ducts.
Check the air filter and replace it, if it is dirty or clogged. Make sure nothing is blocking the vents in each room and that no debris has fallen into any floor ducts. Look inside all the other ducts for obvious problems, such as foreign objects or damaged zoning baffles. If you cannot find any obstructions, have an HVAC professional inspect the AC and duct system.
If there is not enough refrigerant in the system, the pressure may drop, preventing the refrigeration cycle from operating properly. This can cause the evaporator to freeze, and when it eventually thaws, water will leak from the AC unit. If you suspect there is a refrigerant problem or have witnessed a leak, call a professional to inspect the system, repair any leaks, and add refrigerant, if required.
For help with a leaking air conditioner, contact our team at Shamrock Heating & Cooling today. We can find the cause of the leak quickly and offer the best repair options for your needs. Since 1996, we have been providing quality home comfort services to customers throughout Tempe, Phoenix, and the surrounding areas.
Contact Shamrock Heating & Cooling today at 480-439-0016 for fast, reliable AC repairs in Tempe, Chandler, or Ahwatukee!