It is natural to see a little moisture coming from your air conditioning unit. However, constant leaking can lead to major problems such as water damage to walls, floors, and ceilings, which can result in mold growth. Your air conditioner can spread a leak in the condensate drain or pipe, air filter, and even the condensate pump. Here are the most common causes of air conditioner leaks.
1. Clogged Condensate Drain
The most common cause of an air conditioning unit water leak is a clogged condensate drain. It is responsible for removing excess moisture that naturally results from the heating of refrigerant. Over time, dust, dirt, sludge, and mold can build up in your drain. This build-up can cause a partial or full clog, leading to a leak once the condensate overflows. Most modern air conditioning units turn off when it senses too much water in the pan, allowing you to empty it without the risk of electrical shock. However, you will want to call an experienced HVAC technician to clean the drain.
2. Damaged/Rusted Drain Pipe
Twelve- to 15-year-old air conditioners are susceptible to rusted or damaged drain pipes. If left untreated, the pipe can crack, allowing the water to escape. The pipe must be replaced to avoid future leaks.
3. Broken Condensate Pump
Some air conditioning units, such as those in a basement, will have a condensate pump that moves the water from the condensate pan outside. As the unit ages, the pump’s ability to rid the water will become less efficient. This can lead to a build-up of water, causing your unit to completely break down. A professional HVAC technician must then replace the condensate pump.
4. A Dirty Air Filter
Air filters remove pet dander, dust particles, and potentially dangerous bacteria from the air in your home. Dirt eventually collects, restricting airflow and reducing the air filter’s ability to properly clean your air. A backflow of air results, which then runs over the evaporator coils. This causes the coils to become too cold, and they could potentially freeze. When the coils finally melt, the excess moisture might overfill the condensate pan. As a general rule of thumb, you should change your air filter every 1-3 months.
5. Low Refrigerant
Low refrigerant, which results in low pressure, can also cause your air conditioning system to fail. The evaporator coils can freeze, and as they thaw, the water overwhelms the condensate pan. Some signs of low refrigerant or a leak in an air conditioning system include an inability to cool and a hissing or bubbling sound.
If you are experiencing problems with your air conditioning system, contact the dedicated HVAC technicians at Comfort Masters Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer yearly maintenance plans, air conditioning tune-ups, and repair services to handle all of your air conditioning needs. Call Comfort Masters Heating and Air Conditioning today for more information and an estimate on your air conditioning repair.