My AC System Is Leaking Fluid—What Is This From?
AC systems can leak water, but not from any part of your plumbing system. Rather, it's from condensation that has built up within the system and may spread out if drainage isn't properly established.
The effects of a leak might be devastating, depending on the position of your cooling system's indoor unit. What should you do if your air conditioner springs a leak? Here's what may be causing a leak from your air conditioner.
Why Your AC is Leaking
Water leaks come from air conditioners when the condensate doesn't drain correctly. Small water droplets form on the AC unit's evaporator coil because of the humidity in the air.
This is a normal part of the air conditioner operation. A drip tray sits below the coils to catch the condensation, and it is set at an angle with a drainage hole at the bottom. The hole leads to a pipe that allows water to drain outside of your home.
1. Drainage Problems
If you notice water leaking, it's important to take a closer look to try and determine the source of the leak. There could be a number of problems within your condensate system:
- Water may be overflowing from the drip tray if the condensate drain is clogged.
- The drip tray is damaged or out of alignment.
- High humidity and frequent use mean you need a condensate pump to get rid of the excess.
- Ice is forming on the evaporator coil and thawing too quickly.
2. Refrigerant Leaks
There are two types of leaks: refrigerant leaks and condensation leaks.
- Refrigerant Leaks - Happen when the refrigerant escapes from the AC system.
- Condensation Leaks - Happen when water escapes from the AC system.
Refrigerant leaks can happen for a number of reasons. The most common reason is that the AC system is not properly sealed. Over time, the seals can degrade and allow refrigerant to escape. Other causes of refrigerant leaks include damage to the AC system, such as from a storm or accident.
If you think you have a refrigerant leak, it is important to have it fixed as soon as possible. Refrigerant is a toxic substance and can be harmful to the environment. If you detect a condensation leak, it's critical to address it right away to avoid water damage to your property.
Can I Use My AC When Water is Leaking?
If your air conditioner is leaking water, it is generally not recommended to continue using it until the issue has been addressed and resolved by an HVAC professional.
- Potential electrical hazards: Water leakage from an air conditioner can come into contact with electrical components, which can create a safety hazard. Water and electricity do not mix, and there is a risk of electrical shock or damage to the air conditioner's electrical system.
- Further damage to the unit: If your air conditioner is leaking water, it indicates that there is an underlying problem such as a clogged drain line, a malfunctioning condensate pump, or a blocked air filter. Continuing to run the unit with a water leak can exacerbate the issue and potentially cause more damage to the air conditioner.
- Indoor comfort and air quality: A leaking air conditioner can lead to moisture buildup in your home, resulting in increased humidity levels and potential mold or mildew growth. This can negatively affect indoor air quality and the overall comfort of your living space.
It is best to turn off your air conditioner and address the water leak as soon as possible. Here's what you can do:
- Turn off the power: Switch off the circuit breaker or disconnect the power supply to the air conditioner to prevent any electrical mishaps.
- Contact a professional: Call a qualified HVAC technician to inspect and repair the air conditioner. They will be able to diagnose the cause of the leak and take appropriate measures to fix the issue.
- Properly dry the area: Once the leak has been resolved, ensure that the affected area is thoroughly dried to prevent further damage or mold growth.
By addressing the water leak and having the air conditioner repaired by a professional, you can safely resume using it without the risk of electrical hazards or additional damage to the unit.
Reliable AC Repair for Your Home
If you're experiencing water leaks from your AC system, it's important to take action and determine the source of the problem. Don't wait until the issue gets worse—call the Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, LLC team today at (770) 268-2422 for reliable AC repair! We'll determine the cause of the problem and provide a solution that will get your AC system up and running again in no time.