If your AC is leaking water via a drain pipe outside, everything is likely fine with your AC system. Part of your AC’s job is to remove moisture from your home’s air. In the summer, when it’s humid, your AC removes quite a bit of water from your home and dumps it outside. If you notice water outside from your AC unit, there’s no need to be alarmed, this is normal.
If your AC is leaking water inside your home, there is probably an issue.
Your AC could be leaking water inside if you have a:
- Clogged condensate drain
- Dirty air filter
- Refrigerant leak
- Leaking drain pan
Below, we’ll break down each of these issues so you can determine why your AC is leaking water and what you can do to fix it.
Issue #1: Clogged condensate line
As we mentioned above, one of the main jobs of your AC system is to dehumidify your home.
When your AC draws in warm, humid air from your home, it not only strips the air of heat, but pulls the moisture out of it as well. This moisture is collected in the drain pan, carried out of your home via a condensate line and then dumped outside.
If there is a clog along the condensate line, water will back up in your AC system, causing your drain pan to overflow. This will result in water pooling around the base of your indoor AC unit.
The fix: If the clog is near the end of the line, it could be removed easily. However, if it’s higher up in the condensate line, it will require a professional to unclog.
Issue #2: Leaking drain pan
Another reason your AC could be leaking water is a damaged drain pan. If your drain pan is old or damaged, water can leak directly out of the drain pan and onto the floor around your AC.
The fix: Contact a professional. If your drain pan is leaking, a professional will need to replace it.
Issue #2: Dirty air filter
A dirty air filter can block the airflow to your AC’s evaporator coil, the part of your AC where heat is absorbed by refrigerant.
Blocked airflow can cause the coil to freeze because not enough warm air is blowing over it. When the ice eventually melts, it can overflow the drain pan and spill out onto the floor around your AC unit.
The fix: Check your air filter and replace it if it’s dirty. We would suggest checking your AC every month and replacing it if necessary.
Image caption: An example of a clean air filter on the left, dirty air filter on the right.
Issue #3: Refrigerant leak
Refrigerant is the substance that carries heat out of your home and dumps it outside.
When refrigerant is low, it can cause your evaporator coil to freeze over. As we explained above, when the ice on the evaporator coil starts to melt, it can cause the drain pan to overflow and water to leak onto your floor.
If you notice your AC is leaking water and you hear bubbling or hissing noises coming from your AC unit, a refrigerant leak could be your issue.
The fix: Contact a professional. If your AC system is low on refrigerant, it’s because there is a leak in the line. A professional will need to repair or replace your refrigerant line and then refill it.
Note: Be wary of any tech that suggests refilling your refrigerant before fixing a leak. If your system is low on refrigerant, there is a leak, and there is no sense in refilling refrigerant only for it to leak out again.
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Unfortunately, many of the issues listed above require a professional fix. So, if you are experiencing the issues listed above, you should find a trusted HVAC partner that can make the correct repair.