Air conditioners in Indianapolis area homes run heavily over the summer season. If your cooling system starts to leak, you have a problem on your hands that could lead to water damage or mold if you don’t take care of it. If you’re wondering “why is my AC leaking,” there are several reasons why this may happen – most of them are easy to fix. Mission Mechanical shares some of the most common causes of air conditioner leaks and explains what needs to be done to correct these issues.
1. Cracked Drain Pan
As air conditioners cool the air, moisture from the air condenses and turns to liquid as the air comes into contact with the evaporator coils. This liquid, called condensate, drips off of the coils and collects in the drain pan that sits beneath.
A damaged drain pan is a common cause of a leaking air conditioner. If the drain pan is cracked, the condensate will leak out into the area around your indoor unit instead of properly exiting the system. If you see water pooled around your indoor air conditioning equipment, it’s a sign that you could have an AC leak in the drain pan.
Turn off your air conditioning system and remove the access panel from the indoor unit so you can see the drain pan. If your drain pan is cracked or rusted, it needs to be replaced to prevent leaking. Call your HVAC company to schedule this repair.
2. Clogged Condensate Drain Line
Your air conditioning unit has a condensate drain line to remove moisture that forms during the cooling process. Water first drops into the drain pan, and an attached drain line carries the water created by the AC system outside or to a nearby floor drain. If your AC has a clogged drain line, the water will back up.
Clogs can form in the drain line or the drain pan due to mold and algae growth. You can clean out the drip pan by removing excess water, scrubbing the pan to remove any existing matter, and treating the pan with vinegar to prevent regrowth. You can flush the drain line to remove clogs by attaching your garden hose at the entrance inside the home. Watch the exit point outside or at the nearby drain to see if the clog comes out. If you cannot remove the clog, call your HVAC company for repair service to have a professional take care of this tough task.
3. Broken Condensate Pump
Your air conditioning system has a condensate pump that helps move moisture out of the unit through the drain line. If it breaks, water will back up in the drain line and drain pan, spilling over the edges of the pan onto the floor below.
A broken condensate pump is one cause of an air conditioner leaking water. Condensate pump problems may be the reason for your leaks if you’ve checked the drain pan for damage and the drain line for clogs, yet you haven’t found anything and water still backs up in the drainage system. Call your HVAC company to have your condensate pump repaired or replaced.
4. Frozen Evaporator Coils
Air conditioners can also leak if the evaporator coil freezes over, preventing the system from cooling properly. As the coils thaw out, excess water can overload the drainage system and spill out of the unit, causing a leak.
Frozen evaporator coils are commonly due to a lack of airflow through the system, most often caused by a dirty air filter. Low refrigerant in the system can also cause the coils to ice up, which results from leaks in the refrigerant lines or other system components.
Remove the access panel on the indoor unit to see if the coils have frozen. If so, turn off the AC and allow the coils to thaw – you can leave the system fan turned on to keep air flowing over the coils, which assists in the thawing process. Once they’re fully defrosted, replace the filter and turn on your air conditioner. If the coils continue to ice up, call a technician to check the refrigerant levels and recharge the system if necessary.
Get Help for Air Conditioner Leaks
If your air conditioner is leaking, the first step is to identify the source of the leak. Once you know what’s causing the leak, you can take steps to fix it. Some air conditioner leaks can be fixed without calling a technician, but others do require the help of a professional. Call Mission Mechanical today to schedule air conditioner repair for a leaking AC unit.