Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Reasons Why

An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by removing heat and humidity from the air. As the AC extracts humidity from the air, it produces condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is typically sent to a drain pan and sent through piping into your home’s drain system.

Unfortunately, faulty components or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan within your furnace or air handler. It can then leak into your home. This is particularly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is placed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In the bulk of homes, local codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is installed underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan has piping that is routed to the outside of the home. In general, the outlet of the pipe is found above the outside of a window so it’s easily noticeable if water begins draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water dripping from piping on the outside of your home, this is often evidence the primary drain is blocked and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most frequent explanations for why your AC is leaking water and how to repair the issue. Some homes may also have a safety device that can automatically turn off your AC should the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling unless the drain is free of any obstructions. Regardless, if you see water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to "off" to prevent any other water damage and call a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners routinely require professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We proudly deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.*

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked

When hot, humid air reaches the evaporator coil, water condenses on the cold metal surface. At the end of the process, the water drains into a pan under the indoor coil inside the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence takes place, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan overflows.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris might clog the drain. This prevents the water from draining away correctly. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for the peace of mind it’s performed properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will automatically turn off your AC just in case the drain becomes backed up again in the future, thus avoiding water damage in your home. Of course, scheduling maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and unhampered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While unusual, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This may occur if someone is working around the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Check your AC to find out if the drain line is still connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to take care of this issue right away. Arrange an appointment with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners require a condensate pump to efficiently drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is found above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water could build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is inoperable. First, determine that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the case, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Dirty or Broken

If you see small drips rather than a larger puddle nearby the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be dripping off the evaporator coil rather than properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can take place if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation surrounding the coils redirect the water. The smartest approach to stop the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you uncover a leak and the AC isn't cooling properly, the refrigerant level may be lacking because of a leak. Air conditioners require refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it checked consistently during seasonal maintenance is incredibly useful for the life span of your unit. Without a full supply of refrigerant, the evaporator coils could freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Despite some expectations, your AC does not need to be refilled unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only necessary when a leak appears within the system. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning right away to repair AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter should be changed regularly to ensure proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils can become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to fill in the drain pan—possibly producing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem persists, further repairs may be necessary. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are ready to serve you, ensuring the problem gets solved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are designed to be used during warm weather. Running your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower will sometimes cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and potentially create an overflow due to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are designed to last, but nothing survives forever. If you use an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan may be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak could appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working like it’s supposed to.

Our Experts Can Tackle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can fix the problem. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again as soon as possible.

Our technicians are highly trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete exceptional work. We have full confidence in our repairs—in fact, we back up everything we perform with a one-year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!*

We’ll even advise signing up for a worry-free membership plan. This could help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, promptly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cool.

Contact us at 352-414-4006 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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