Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Reasons Why

An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by extracting heat and humidity from the air. As the AC extracts humidity from the air, it produces condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is usually kept in a drain pan and sent through piping into your home’s drain system.

As a side effect, an error or sludge buildup may cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water floods the drain pan in your furnace or air handler. It can then spill into your home. This is decidedly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is kept in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In the bulk of homes, local codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is put underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is routed to the outside of the home. Usually, the outlet of the pipe is found above the outside of a window so it’s more noticeable if water is draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water draining from piping on the outside of your home, this is likely a sign the primary drain is blocked and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most general causes for why your AC is leaking water and how to fix the issue. Some homes may also possess a safety device that can automatically shut off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling unless the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you notice water leaking, make sure to set your thermostat to "off" to stop any additional water damage and get in touch with a Finch Air Conditioning & Heating service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently do best with professional help, which is why we’re here to assist you at Finch Air Conditioning & Heating. We happily deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.*

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked

When hot, humid air moves over the evaporator coil, water forms on the cold metal surface. In the end, the water drains into a pan beneath the indoor coil within the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence occurs, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan fills up.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris could clog the drain. This prevents the water from draining away properly. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like Finch Air Conditioning & Heating for the peace of mind it’s completed properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also put in a safety device that will quickly turn off your AC if the drain becomes backed up again later on, thus minimizing water damage within your home. Of course, regular maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and unobstructed.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While not very common, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This may be the cause if someone is working around the unit or when replacing the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line breaks free from the pan. Inspect your AC to find out if the drain line is still connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we suggest calling an HVAC technician to resolve this issue right away. Make an appointment with Finch Air Conditioning & Heating today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners need a condensate pump to adequately drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is located above the AC unit. Even if the drain is free of obstructions, water might back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is faulty. First, determine that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the case, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should check with an air conditioning contractor like Finch Air Conditioning & Heating to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Damaged

If you see small drips in favor of a bigger puddle close to the outside of your furnace or air handler, water might be splashing off the evaporator coil compared to properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can take place if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation protecting the coils redirect the water. The smart approach to keep the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Finch Air Conditioning & Heating membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you uncover a leak and the AC isn't cooling like it’s supposed to, the refrigerant level may be insufficient thanks to a leak. Air conditioners require refrigerant to produce cold air, so getting it looked at consistently during seasonal maintenance is highly beneficial for the health of your unit. Without enough refrigerant, the evaporator coils may freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Despite some expectations, your AC does not need to be recharged unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only necessary when a leak appears within the system. Call Finch Air Conditioning & Heating immediately to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter should be changed regularly to produce proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to accumulate in the drain pan—possibly creating an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem doesn’t go away, additional repairs may be needed. Luckily, HVAC technicians from Finch Air Conditioning & Heating are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are made to run during warm weather. Using your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder could cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and potentially create an overflow due to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Finch Air Conditioning & Heating technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are built to last, but nothing lives forever. If you own an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan could be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak may appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Finch Air Conditioning & Heating can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working normally.

Our Experts Can Meet All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Finch Air Conditioning & Heating can help. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again as soon as possible.

Our technicians are well trained, knowledgeable and certified to provide dependable work. We have full confidence in our repairs—in fact, we back up everything we perform with a one-year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!*

We’ll even recommend a worry-free membership plan. This will sometimes help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, sooner so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house comfortable.

Contact us at 281-407-9478 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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