You’re shuffling around in your home, trying to free up some storage space, and all of a sudden you step in a puddle. We haven’t had any heavy rains lately, though, and you’ve noticed no signs of trouble with your plumbing system. Upon further investigation, you realize that the source of the water is actually your air conditioner. That can’t be right, you think — my air conditioner doesn’t use any water in its operation! What’s going on?
Well, you are right about the fact that your air conditioner does not use water in its operation. This does not mean, however, that there is not water coming from the system and pooling around it. Confused? Understandable, but that’s what we’re here for. Let us help to shed some light on the reasons why your AC may seem to be leaking water.
Potential Causes of an AC Leaking Water
As is the case with most problems that one may encounter with his or her air conditioning system, there are quite a few reasons as to why your air conditioner may be “leaking” water. It is not as simple as a pipe leaking, due to the fact that the air conditioner does not actually use water in its process. So where does it come from?
Melting ice is one potential cause of the problem — and this situation itself has a few potential causes. The most benign of these is simply an air filter that is too dirty. How can a dirty air filter cause ice to develop in an air conditioner? By restricting airflow.
As your air conditioner draws heat out of the air surrounding and passing over the evaporator coil, it also draws some moisture out of the air. That moisture condenses on the coil before dripping off — we’ll get into this more below. If there is not enough air passing through the system due to a clogged filter, then the coil can get much colder than it should. That can cause the condensation to freeze on the coil, and when it all melts off it can look a lot like a leak.
A much more serious cause of the problem is an actual leak — a refrigerant leak. Your system evaporates refrigerant to cool the air. This refrigerant is not consumed by the system, and it should not deplete. If your AC has a refrigerant leak, the heat transfer process is impeded and ice can develop. Running an AC that is low on refrigerant can result in costly, potentially irreparable damages, so have the problem resolved professionally as soon as possible.
Finally, you could have a backed up condensate drain assembly. The condensation that drips off the coil has to go somewhere, right? It is drained out of the system and out of your home via a condensate drain pan and drain line. Algal growth, a corroded drain pan, or a damaged drain line could allow for backups or leaks. Keeping the drain line clean and replacing a damaged pan are simple and effective ways of protecting your home from potential water damage.
Schedule your AC services in Sanger, CA with California Indoor Comfort Inc. Where comfort and technology come together.