An HVAC technician working on an air conditioner with the words, why is my air conditioner leaking?

Nowadays, most people don’t really understand the mechanics of the machines they use every day. Part of the reason is that these machines have become increasingly specialized and complicated, but part of the reason is also that people no longer have the inclination to understand the intricacies of all the machines in their lives. Knowing the basics of how a machine functions can help you understand the reason behind any issues you might encounter and also help you make sure you pick a qualified professional to resolve those issues. Below, you’ll find the information to help you do just that when it comes to your air conditioning unit.

How an Air Conditioner Works

Air conditioners can seem very confusing, but the basic function of how they work goes back to some of the concepts you learned in school about the water cycle. Evaporator coils cool the warm air that is blown over them. This causes condensation to form on the coil. The moisture from that condensation then drips into a drain pan and down a condensate drain line. This design means that it is natural to have some moisture, but if it starts to form a mini flood or cause water damage, that is a problem.

Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking?

Here are a few of the common reasons that your air conditioner might be leaking:

Clogged Condensate Drain Line

This is the most common cause of a water leak. The condensate drain line can be clogged by anything from dust to dirt to sludge to even mold. This can lead to water backing up into your home, potentially leading to water damage if left unaddressed.

Damaged Drain Pan

This is a more common issue among older air conditioners whose drain pan may be rusted or damaged. A damaged drain pan can allow water to fall right through. The best fix for this issue is usually a pan replacement.

Broken Condensate Pump

This issue is a concern for AC units that are located in the basement of a home. The pump may need to be repaired or replaced depending on the extent of the damage.

Dirty Air Filter

A dirty air filter can block airflow over the evaporator coil which then causes the evaporator coil to freeze over. When the coil melts, the excess water can be too much for the drain pan to handle. To avoid this, air filters should be changed every 1-3 months depending on the season and whether or not you have any pets.

Low Refrigerant

Low refrigerant results in lower pressure in your AC System which can lead to your air conditioner ineffectively cooling. If you hear a hissing or bubbling noise, you may be dealing with a refrigerant leak.

A Professional HVAC Technician Can Help!

An air conditioning unit is not a thing you want to mess with, even after reading the basics of how an air conditioning unit works. It is much safer and more cost-effective to call a professional HVAC technician to fix the problem the first time rather than risk not being able to figure the issue yourself, or even exacerbating the problem as you try to figure it out. The skilled team at Cote’s Mechanical, LLC is here to help with all of your air conditioning unit needs, so make sure to call us today!