On a scorching summer day, the last thing you want to do is realize there’s a leak in your AC unit. Air conditioning systems leak for many reasons, most of which are easily avoidable with the right maintenance plan. If you recently noticed water leaking from your air conditioner, learn about the possible causes, and call a professional heating and cooling contractor for any issue beyond your expertise.
What Are the Causes of a Leaking AC Unit?
1. Cracked Drain Pan
Over time, the drain pan welded to the underside of your AC unit that collects condensation rusts or sustains other damage such as cracks, creating water leaks. While water sealant provides a temporary remedy, a damaged pan eventually needs to be replaced. This issue is most common in AC units over 12 years old.
2. Dirty Air Filter
Clogged air filters can cause leaks, in addition to decreasing the appliance’s efficiency and shortening its life expectancy. A dirty filter impedes airflow over the evaporator coil, causing it to freeze. The frozen evaporator coil then melts and drips into the drain pan, resulting in overflow issues. The filter should be replaced every two to three months—or more frequently if you have pets or someone in your home experiences allergies.
3. Clogged Drain Line
When the AC unit’s condensate drain line becomes clogged with dirt, algae, fungi, dust, and other debris, it prevents water from exiting efficiently. Water subsequently backs up into the system, resulting in clogs, unless a special wet-dry vacuum is used to dislodge the debris.
4. Broken or Poorly Installed Condensate Drain Line
When the condensate line that directs condensation out of the unit and away from your home cracks, the AC unit leaks. An improperly installed drain line also causes this issue because it can loosen and disconnect, resulting in pools of water around the unit.
5. Low Refrigerant Level
Also known as coolant, refrigerant creates cool air within an AC unit. When levels lower due to a leak, the pressure within the appliance also lowers, so it can no longer cool the hot interior air. Low refrigerant levels result in frozen evaporator coils that melt into the drain pan and cause it to overflow.
You can prevent AC unit leaks and other maintenance issues by working with the HVAC contractors at Donovan & Jorgenson. Serving the Greater Milwaukee, WI, area since 1985, this company enjoys an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau® and provides residential and commercial services, including 24/7 emergency assistance. Visit them online today for a free estimate, or get more heating and cooling tips on Twitter.