Water leaks can be a major source of damage to your home – not to mention your pocketbook. It’s estimated that the average home wastes about 10,000 gallons of water per year because of water leaks.
While water-using appliances and plumbing pipes and fixtures are typically associated with home leaks, did you know your home’s air conditioning unit can also leak water? Air conditioners can develop leaks for a number of reasons, and, if not taken care of promptly, they can cause significant damage to your Indianapolis area home and lead to mold and mildew.
In our most recent blog, the indoor air quality specialists at A Perfect Climate Heating & Cooling discuss the different types of AC unit leaks, their causes, and how to repair them.
Three of the most common reasons your air conditioner might leak water include:
Clogged condensate drain lines are a common cause of AC leaks. When air passes over the evaporator coil, heat is absorbed by the refrigerant inside the coil and cooled. During this process, moisture in the air condenses into liquid form which helps balance the humidity level in your home. The water then drips into a pan and exits your home through the condensate drain line, which runs from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit.
If a clog forms in the drain line due to debris, mold, or other sources, the water has nowhere to go and can drip onto the floor inside your home. Although there are DIY methods to fix this issue, we recommend contacting an HVAC professional to remove the clogged drain line properly.
Sometimes the condensate drain line might be operating fine, but it’s the drip pan that is actually causing water to leak from your air conditioner and onto the floor by your system. This can be caused if the pan isn’t connected tightly enough, but oftentimes it’s due to a crack in the pan that has developed over time.
You can access the pan by removing the access panel leading to the air handler. The pan sits underneath the evaporator coil. If you notice a crack, have it replaced. If the leak is occurring where the pan and drain line meet, try tightening the connection. Again, it’s always best to hire a professional heating and cooling technician to make fixes such as these.
A clogged or dirty air filter can indirectly cause an AC leak. When air filters become very clogged, they restrict the amount of airflow that goes into your ac unit. When this occurs, the evaporator coil can freeze up because the refrigerant inside doesn't receive enough air to warm up properly. A frozen coil can cause an excess amount of water to fill the drip pan, causing water to spill over onto your floor.
Filter replacement is one of the easiest DIY maintenance tasks homeowners can perform on their AC unit. Filters should be replaced about every three months, or according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
One of the best ways to ensure your system runs smoothly and doesn’t spring a leak is with regular air conditioner maintenance services. We recommend having your AC unit tuned up once a year in the spring. During this checkup, a technician will inspect the system from top to bottom, lubricate moving parts and tighten electrical connections. They will also inspect the condensate drain line and drip pan to ensure everything is operating correctly.
When you enroll in a preventative maintenance plan from A Perfect Climate Heating & Cooling, you’ll receive bi-annual HVAC maintenance – once in the spring for your cooling system and again in the fall for your heating unit. We’ll remind you when it’s time for this service and make an appointment on a day that works around your busy schedule. You’ll also receive other benefits such as discounts and priority service when you enroll.
If you notice your air conditioner leaking water, contact an HVAC professional as soon as possible to avoid damage to your Indianapolis area home from water and mold. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.