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My Air Conditioner Is Leaking Condensation, Now What?

Posted on July 16, 2015Rick Welter

An air conditioner leaking condensation onto the floorYou walk into your furnace room and notice that there’s a pool of water around your air conditioner. It looks like your air conditioner is leaking. You’re concerned, and want to know what to do next.

Your air conditioner leaking may indicate a serious problem, so the first thing you should do is shut it off. The water may cause damage to the sensitive electronic parts inside of the air conditioner; it could also damage your floor. It’s important that you shut the air conditioner off now, before returning to this article to learn why this is happening, and what the problem might be.

Why Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking?

One function of air conditioners is to extract humidity from the air, so it’s natural for your air conditioner to generate water or condensate. However, an air conditioner leaking indicates that there’s a problem with the way that the condensate is draining.

An air conditioner that’s functioning properly pulls hot, humid air from your home into the evaporator coil, which chills it. Chilling the air causes condensation to form, much like condensation forms on a glass of ice water on a hot day. The condensate falls into a condensate drain pan and is then piped out of the indoor air conditioner unit through the condensate drain line, which is either routed down the drain, or to the outside of your home.

Why Isn’t The Condensate Draining Correctly?

An air conditioner leaking indicates that there is a problem with the way that the condensate is draining. There are a number of issues that may inhibit the condensate from draining correctly. We will outline the most common issues here:

  • Clogged Condensate Drain Line If the pipe that channels the condensate out of your home or down the drain is clogged, the water will pool instead of draining. If this is the case, you can use a shop vacuum to suck the clogging materials out of the drain pipe.
  • Dirty Evaporator Coil When is the last time your air conditioner was cleaned and maintained? If it’s been more than a year, the problem could be a dirty evaporator coil. If this is the case, the dirt and debris from the evaporator coil mixes with the condensate and blocks the condensate drain. This problem can be avoided by having a professional clean the evaporator coil as part of an annual air conditioner maintenance
  • Rusty Condensate Drain Pan Condensate drain pans are typically made out of metal and can get rusty over time. Rusty drain pans can cause an air conditioner to leak, and damage your floor if they fall out of your air conditioner. Rusty condensate drain pans should be replaced by an HVAC professional.
  • Installation Issues Improper air conditioner installation can cause a variety of problems, including air conditioner leaking. The condensate trap may have been improperly configured, which means that the condensate has nowhere to go after the condensate drain pan other than the floor.
  • Frozen Evaporator Coil If your evaporator coil gets too cold, it will freeze. When it eventually thaws, the melt water may pool all over the floor. You can check to see if your evaporator coil is frozen by opening the blower door of your inside air conditioner unit. A frozen evaporator coil is usually caused by one of two things:
    • Dirty Air Filter Has it been more than a month since you changed your air filter? If so, it’s time for a new one. Dirty air filters can cause many problems for your air conditioner. For instance, dirty air filters that are clogged with dust and debris inhibit air flow, which means that less cold air is flowing to your condenser coil. A lack of hot air flow allows the condenser coil to cool more than it should, and may cause freezing.
    • Low on Refrigerant Although it sounds paradoxical, a lack of refrigerant can actually cause your condenser coil to become too cold and freeze up. Low or leaking refrigerant may be indicative of larger problems, so please call a local HVAC professional if you notice that you are low on refrigerant.

There are many problems that can cause your air conditioner to start leaking, so it’s important to call an air conditioning repair professional to help you effectively solve the problem. In order to avoid damage to your home or air conditioner, do not run your air conditioner until a HVAC repair person has solved the problem. Regular maintenance will also help you avoid air conditioner drainage problems, since a dirty air filter or evaporator coil is often to blame for leaking air conditioners.

If you notice that your air conditioner is leaking, don’t hesitate to contact the seasoned professionals at the Ray N. Welter Heating Company. They will identify and solve the problem, in addition to letting you know how it can be avoided in the future.

 

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My Air Conditioner Is Leaking Condensation, Now What?

Posted on July 16, 2015Rick Welter

An air conditioner leaking condensation onto the floorYou walk into your furnace room and notice that there’s a pool of water around your air conditioner. It looks like your air conditioner is leaking. You’re concerned, and want to know what to do next.

Your air conditioner leaking may indicate a serious problem, so the first thing you should do is shut it off. The water may cause damage to the sensitive electronic parts inside of the air conditioner; it could also damage your floor. It’s important that you shut the air conditioner off now, before returning to this article to learn why this is happening, and what the problem might be.

Why Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking?

One function of air conditioners is to extract humidity from the air, so it’s natural for your air conditioner to generate water or condensate. However, an air conditioner leaking indicates that there’s a problem with the way that the condensate is draining.

An air conditioner that’s functioning properly pulls hot, humid air from your home into the evaporator coil, which chills it. Chilling the air causes condensation to form, much like condensation forms on a glass of ice water on a hot day. The condensate falls into a condensate drain pan and is then piped out of the indoor air conditioner unit through the condensate drain line, which is either routed down the drain, or to the outside of your home.

Why Isn’t The Condensate Draining Correctly?

An air conditioner leaking indicates that there is a problem with the way that the condensate is draining. There are a number of issues that may inhibit the condensate from draining correctly. We will outline the most common issues here:

  • Clogged Condensate Drain Line If the pipe that channels the condensate out of your home or down the drain is clogged, the water will pool instead of draining. If this is the case, you can use a shop vacuum to suck the clogging materials out of the drain pipe.
  • Dirty Evaporator Coil When is the last time your air conditioner was cleaned and maintained? If it’s been more than a year, the problem could be a dirty evaporator coil. If this is the case, the dirt and debris from the evaporator coil mixes with the condensate and blocks the condensate drain. This problem can be avoided by having a professional clean the evaporator coil as part of an annual air conditioner maintenance
  • Rusty Condensate Drain Pan Condensate drain pans are typically made out of metal and can get rusty over time. Rusty drain pans can cause an air conditioner to leak, and damage your floor if they fall out of your air conditioner. Rusty condensate drain pans should be replaced by an HVAC professional.
  • Installation Issues Improper air conditioner installation can cause a variety of problems, including air conditioner leaking. The condensate trap may have been improperly configured, which means that the condensate has nowhere to go after the condensate drain pan other than the floor.
  • Frozen Evaporator Coil If your evaporator coil gets too cold, it will freeze. When it eventually thaws, the melt water may pool all over the floor. You can check to see if your evaporator coil is frozen by opening the blower door of your inside air conditioner unit. A frozen evaporator coil is usually caused by one of two things:
    • Dirty Air Filter Has it been more than a month since you changed your air filter? If so, it’s time for a new one. Dirty air filters can cause many problems for your air conditioner. For instance, dirty air filters that are clogged with dust and debris inhibit air flow, which means that less cold air is flowing to your condenser coil. A lack of hot air flow allows the condenser coil to cool more than it should, and may cause freezing.
    • Low on Refrigerant Although it sounds paradoxical, a lack of refrigerant can actually cause your condenser coil to become too cold and freeze up. Low or leaking refrigerant may be indicative of larger problems, so please call a local HVAC professional if you notice that you are low on refrigerant.

There are many problems that can cause your air conditioner to start leaking, so it’s important to call an air conditioning repair professional to help you effectively solve the problem. In order to avoid damage to your home or air conditioner, do not run your air conditioner until a HVAC repair person has solved the problem. Regular maintenance will also help you avoid air conditioner drainage problems, since a dirty air filter or evaporator coil is often to blame for leaking air conditioners.

If you notice that your air conditioner is leaking, don’t hesitate to contact the seasoned professionals at the Ray N. Welter Heating Company. They will identify and solve the problem, in addition to letting you know how it can be avoided in the future.

 

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