During the summer, your air conditioning unit is working almost non-stop to keep you and your family cool and comfortable. This can lead to breakdowns when you least want them, especially if you neglect to have your unit serviced annually. That’s why it’s important to be on the lookout for any potential problems that might be developing.
One of the most common AC problems to occur with your AC during the summer is a leak (about 90% of AC service calls are due to leaks, according to Popular Mechanics). And if your air conditioner is leaking inside your home, you might suffer water damage to your property or possessions as well.
If you do notice your air conditioner is leaking, the first thing to do is turn it off to prevent further damage, and then call your maintenance service. But don’t worry, the problem is probably relatively minor and won’t cost an arm and a leg to fix.
The inside unit of your AC makes water as the warm air is drawn over the evaporator coil. This causes condensation and little droplets of water collect on the coil. When everything is working as it should, these droplets fall into the drain pan and flow out of your home through the condensate drain line. When something goes wrong, you get a leak.
What can cause an air conditioner to leak inside?
Blocked Condensate Drain Line
A blocked condensate drain line is the most common cause of leaky AC inside units. The drain line (that’s the white PVC tube going from your inside unit out through the wall) takes all the water that collects in the inside unit to the outside drain.
If it gets blocked with dust, dirt, leaves, etc, the water has nowhere to go and will back up and eventually overflow down your walls.
It’s relatively easy to unblock this pipe but it’s still a good idea to leave it to the professionals to avoid damage.
Rusted or Damaged Drain Pan
If your AC is an older model and suddenly springs a leak, the drain pan, where the water collects, might be rusted through. If this is the case, it’ll have to be replaced.
Clogged or Dirty air Filter
When your air filter gets too dirty, it blocks the airflow over the evaporator coil, causing it to freeze over. When the unit is turned down or off, the coil defrosts and sheds more water than the drain pan can contain. Your air filter should be cleaned or changed every three months at least.
Low on Refrigerant
This is the worst-case scenario. If your AC is losing refrigerant, it will also cause the evaporator coil to freeze and your inside unit to leak. Other signs are;
- the unit is working but not cooling.
- You can hear a hissing sound (made by escaping refrigerant).
A refrigerant leak needs immediate attention and might even mean replacing the whole unit.
These are the main causes of leaking AC units. Most of them are relatively minor repairs but all should be dealt with immediately, so schedule a repair today to make sure your home stays cool and dry this summer.