What to Do If Your Air Conditioner Is Leaking

Posted on: June 20, 2017

Close to 90 percent of all air conditioner service calls are leak related—making it the most common problem and one you should become familiar with. As you enter cooling season one of the most effective means of preventing costly repairs is with a seasonal HVAC maintenance plan, but after completion it’s up to the homeowner to remain vigilant and watch for issues that may require repair such as water leakage. Even a small leak if left unchecked can lead to extensive damage, but the good news is that most of the causes can be quickly and easily repaired without the need for a service call.

Where Does the Excess Water Come From?

Having a basic knowledge of water formation can help you better understand and detect the source of the leak. The indoor component of your air conditioner houses the evaporator coil, designed to reduce the temperature of the air that blows across it. This process causes condensation to form in the same way that condensation forms on the outside of a cold drink on a hot day. Excess condensation falls onto the drain pan below which is then channeled to the condensate drain line leading outdoors.

What to Do If Your Air Conditioner Is Leaking

There are several potential causes of a water leak but regardless of the reason once a leak is detected you need to take immediate action to minimize the damage.

Clogged Condensate Drain Line

This is the most common source of air conditioner leaks as the line can easily become clogged from an accumulation of sludge, fungi, algae, dirt, or debris. If the runoff from the evaporator coil is unable to flow easily down the drain line water can accumulate and  quickly overflow in to your living space, causing water damage and mold growth. Your options for clearing the line include suctioning out the clog with a wet/dry vacuum with the help of an attachment sold at most home improvement stores and calling Air Experts for air conditioner repair, but you can avoid future issues by regularly pouring a small amount of chlorine bleach or vinegar down the line two or three times a year to destroy bacteria and fungus.

Cracked or Overflowing Drain Pan

You can easily detect leaks in the drain pan with the use of a flashlight. Remove any standing water with a wet/dry vacuum and then shine your flashlight in to each corner of the pan and along all the edges. If you find a leak you can try repairing it with epoxy glue although the best method of repair is to replace the old pan with a new one.

Frozen Evaporator Coils

The formation of ice along the evaporator coils can be caused by a number of issues including:

  • A dirty air filter. A clogged filter hampers airflow which is needed to absorb the heat passing over the coils: with insufficient flow ice begins to form and when it melts flooding can occur. The solution is to perform regular filter changes every four to six weeks during peak cooling season.
  • Inadequate refrigerant charge. Low refrigerant levels lower the pressure throughout the system causing the coil to freeze. Call Air Experts to investigate the source of the refrigerant leak and determine the best course of action.

Quality Air Conditioner Repair in Raleigh, NC

For those living in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the surrounding area, Air Experts offers professional air conditioning repair services for both commercial and residential customers. For professional assistance and repair of an air conditioner water leak, or any other HVAC concerns, contact the certified, licensed technicians at Air Experts Heating & Cooling.

Give us a call today at 919-480-2727 or contact us online and let us know how we can help. 

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