HVAC Guide: How to Fix A Leaking Air Conditioner

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Air conditioning has become a crucial part of many modern households. It helps regulate the temperature in our homes and keeps the air filtered and breathable. The benefits of having an air conditioner are numerous.

However, much like with all technology, air conditioners tend to malfunction sometimes. This can be very inconvenient, especially during sweltering summer days.

One of the most common issues that an air conditioner can have is leaking water. This happens for different reasons, and we are going to explain some of them as well as discuss some ways to fix a leaking air conditioner on your own. Read on to know more!

For HVAC-related issues, it is recommended that you contact an HVAC professional.

Why Your Air Conditioner is Leaking Water

All air conditioners contain two units: indoor and outdoor units. The indoor unit contains an evaporator coil whose primary purpose is to cool the warm air while blowing over it.

This is evidently an inevitable part of the system. However, as the hot air blows over, condensation takes place within the unit.

Furthermore, these drops generally go straight to the drain line that leads out of your home. This means that you should not be having a lot of issues, but things are not always ideal.

If it is summertime and your air conditioner is working overtime, it is quite likely that it might experience some trouble! There are a couple of reasons why your air conditioner might be leaking water.

Clogged Drain Line

This is one of the most common reasons for a leaking air conditioner. A drain line that has been in use for years can easily get clogged by debris, mold, dirt, algae, etc. This prevents the water from going outside through the drain line, and instead, it just comes back to your house.

Clogged Air Filter

Another common occurrence with air conditioners is a clogged air filter. Much like with the drain line, dust and dirt build-up in the filter and cause evaporator coils to freeze, which then has to thaw, resulting in water leaking.

Clogged air filters can cause more damage to certain parts of the unit. They should generally be cleaned every 30-60 days to operate properly. A dirty air filter can also prevent your conditioner from turning on, which is why this should be one of the first things to check on!

Refrigerant Levels

This is another problem that causes the evaporator coils to freeze and then melt, resulting in water leaking. If your AC is low on refrigerant, the pressure inside the system will lower as well. 

You might also hear some odd hissing or bubbling sounds, which is never a good sign. Inspect the refrigerant levels regularly!

If you notice the problem on time, you might be able to fix it. If not, you might have to get an entirely new unit!

Broken Condensate Pump

If your condensate pump is not working properly, it will not be pumping the water outside, resulting in a lot of damage to your home.

Cracked Overflow Pan

This part belongs to the indoor unit, and it catches condensate from the evaporator coil. There is usually a pipe that leads from the drain pan to the outside. If there are any cracks on it, the water from the pipe will be leaking into your home!

4 Ways To Stop An Air Conditioning Leaking Problem

Even though it is usually best to call professionals to deal with the problems listed above, there are a few things you can do on your own. Here are some of those:

1. Clean The Drain Line

Unclogging the drain line should not be an issue. Firstly, try using a vacuum to get the dirt out of the drains. This will allow the water to escape outside freely.

If this does not work, you can try pouring 6 ounces of vinegar into the drain line every couple of months. This will prevent algae build-up and save you from a lot of mess.

Either way, you should regularly inspect your drain line, and if none of the DIY advice works, make sure to call professionals to look into it.

2. Change The Air Filter

Air filters need to be changed almost monthly, sometimes every two months. Since they operate continuously, a lot of dirt builds up, stopping the unit from running altogether.

Do not forget to change this crucial part of your air conditioner to avoid dealing with more significant problems in the future.

3. Repair Or Replace The Condensate Pump

Condensate pumps are usually located in basements, and once they start malfunctioning, you should definitely call someone to fix them. However, if the problem is too big, consider replacing the pump entirely.

This is not something you can do on your own, but regular maintenance does help. Check on all parts of the unit whenever you can to avoid potential costs that could have been avoided!

4. Inspect The Overflow Drain Pan

This is also an issue that is easy to fix. All you have to do is locate the drain pan and look for damage. Once you find the problem, which is usually a crack, there are ways to fix it!

You can fix the cracks using epoxy glue. However, if the drain pan is overflowing, you can use a vac to suck it up and clean the sludge residue. It is recommended you clean the drain pan every once in a while to avoid this problem.

However, you can only fix the drain pan temporarily as it will break again. The best thing after a temporary fix is to replace it very soon.

Takeaway

An air conditioner can be leaking water into your home for different reasons, some of which are listed above.

However, one must not undermine the importance of regular maintenance. Ensure to inspect everything properly every once in a while to avoid more significant issues in the future. 

If something seems beyond your understanding, do not hesitate to call in a professional.

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