Why is My AC Unit Leaking Water?

Water leakage from your AC unit doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem. Condensation is a natural occurrence in AC systems. However, it does warrant making sure that it doesn’t become a problem. The damage from a leaking AC unit can be costly and may even lead to more significant issues if left unchecked.

If your air conditioning unit is leaking water inside your home onto ceilings, walls, or floors, or you see puddles of water around your outdoor unit that don’t dry quickly, that isn’t normal. The problem needs to be diagnosed properly and fixed quickly. Long-term excessive moisture in or around your home can lead to rot, mildew, mold, allergy problems, and damage to surfaces, furniture, and fixtures.

Why Is There Water in My Air Conditioner?

As your HVAC unit takes in warm outdoor air, it blows over an evaporator coil that cools the air. That cooling process causes moisture in the form of condensation to form on the coil, much like the water that drips down the outside of cool glass on a hot day. In a well-maintained and fully functioning system, the drain pan catches the moisture that drips off the coil and sends it out of the home through the condensate drain line.

How Much Is a Normal Amount of Water to Leak From My Air Conditioner?

The answer to this question can depend upon several things. One of the most impactful is the relative temperature and humidity of the outside air. While Phoenix, AZ, doesn’t have extremely high humidity like areas of Florida or Louisiana, it isn’t the dry heat some people think. Our scorching summers tend to make the humidity go up. The combination could have homeowners adjusting their thermostats even lower, creating more condensation.

How Much Is Too Much Water Leaking From My Air Conditioner?

In general, you should only observe condensation leaking when the unit is on. Even if you notice water around your exterior unit, it shouldn’t remain after temperatures cool. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if there is a problem or not if you aren’t an HVAC professional. Call our highly experienced HVAC technicians at Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing if you notice it persisting for more than a full day.

What Could Cause a Leaking AC Unit?

Several factors could cause an air conditioning unit to leak either indoors or out. To make it even more complicated, each aspect could have varying degrees of severity. Even during hot and humid periods, various conditions could prevent your HVAC system from operating and draining condensation normally. Some of these include:

    • Clogged drain
    • Disconnected drain line
    • Dirty filters
    • Cracked condensate pan
    • Low refrigerant
    • Faulty installation or equipment

A Clogged Condensate Drain

Like any other drain, your condensate drain is subject to blocks and clogs. Many things could cause this, including rust, dirt, algae, mineral deposits, or other debris that form or drop into your drain pan. Even small amounts of any foreign matter can prohibit normal drainage, which can lead to an air conditioner leaking water. That’s one of the many reasons why it’s so important to have regular maintenance.

A Disconnected Drain Line

If the drain line to your condensate pan gets dislodged or damaged, it could become disconnected. If that happens, all the water that should be running down the drain simply pours out from the drain hole into your home.

A Dirty Air Filter

There is a good reason AC manufacturers recommend that you frequently replace your air conditioner filters. As the air gets drawn into the unit, dust, dirt, and debris go with it. Your filter is there to catch it, so it doesn’t get blown back into the house in the conditioned air. Over time, that debris builds up until eventually, it blocks the airflow completely. As that happens, the coils can freeze over, then melt and potentially overflow your drainage pan.

A Cracked Condensate Pan

Your condensate pan ages like any other component. Over time and contact with water, it can rust and erode, causing cracks or holes. If your drainage pan breaks down, you’ll have water in your house.

Low Refrigerant Level

Your air conditioner requires the use of a refrigerant to cool down temperatures in your home. Proper refrigerant levels maintain the appropriate pressure in the system. If your refrigerant is low, the pressure can drop, which causes the coils to freeze. When they thaw, it could produce more water than your condensate pan and drain can handle at once. If that happens, it can overflow into your home.

Cold Outdoor Temperatures

If you try to cool your home when the outdoor temperature is lower than 60°, you could be setting yourself up for a leak. Whether you got overheated or missed the evening weather forecast and didn’t realize the temperature dropped, trying to cool the inside while it is chilly outside could cause coils to freeze up. By now, you know what happens when they thaw.

Faulty Installation or Defective Equipment

When you have eliminated all other reasons for a leak, and there are no visible signs or reasons to believe you have damage, your unit may be faulty, or it may have been installed improperly.

Contact a Trusted Provider To Repair Your AC Unit Leak Quickly

When you see any sign of water where it shouldn’t be, you need to call a professional. While an exterior leak is still something to be concerned about, it doesn’t immediately cause the same type of damage that internal leaks can. If you notice water leaking from your air conditioner, you need to get it fixed immediately. Unchecked moisture inside can not only ruin sheetrock and fabrics, rust metal, and rot wood, but it could lead to the development of mold and mildew. All these things can affect the air quality inside your home.

Poor air quality can worsen pre existing conditions, like asthma, lung problems, and cardiopulmonary issues. Even otherwise healthy people can experience increased allergies, headaches, coughing, sore throats, and other conditions from breathing contaminated air. It’s not just leaks that cause poor air quality, though. Failure to maintain your HVAC system can result in debris buildup in your ducts and inefficient operation of your unit. If you haven’t had your system checked lately, you need a reputable HVAC technician to inspect, clean, tune-up, and do repairs where necessary.

Schedule Your Phoenix Area AC Repair With Day & Night

If you are experiencing a leaking AC unit, you notice that your unit is struggling to maintain a consistent temperature, or if your power bills are rising, contact the experts at Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing. Our team consists of highly skilled and experienced tradespeople who stay educated and trained on the latest techniques for diagnosing, repairing, maintaining, and installing HVAC systems. We can be there quickly and provide a quick and honest diagnosis. We’ll then take the time to explain the issue and discuss the best options to fit your budget and timeline.

No matter where you are in the Phoenix area, we can help. We service our friends and neighbors in Phoenix, Arcadia, Cave Creek, Chandler, Goodyear, Mesa, Tempe, and many other surrounding areas. We are standing by to keep you safe, comfortable, and cool. Give us a call today at 602-900-9415 or schedule an appointment online.