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Why Is My AC Leaking Water?

Angry guyIf you know a little bit about the ways in which your air conditioner works to cool your home, then you probably already know that a refrigerant leak is one of the most serious problems that you may encounter. What you may not know is that a water leak is another type of issue that you may run into. What you really may not realize is that this is not exactly a water “leak” as you may be thinking of it.

After all, a central air conditioner does not use water in order to cool your home, right? There is no water supply line running to it, and it certainly does not store water in a tank or reservoir of any kind. Does that mean the water that you’re seeing around your indoor unit is some type of wild hallucination, then? No, nothing so exciting/alarming, depending upon your viewpoint.  It may mean that you need residential air conditioning system repair in Atlanta, though.

Rule Out All Other Water Sources

Your indoor air conditioning unit may well be installed at the lowest point in your home.  That means that any water that should infiltrate your home during a storm, or any water coming from a plumbing/water heater leak, may naturally travel to that spot. This can give the appearance of a water leak coming from your AC unit. Rule that out first before deciding for certain that the trouble originates with your air conditioner.

Okay, so it’s definitely coming from the AC, so what gives? Condensation, that’s what. Your air conditioner is a sorry excuse for a whole-house dehumidifier, and you’ll want one of those installed if you struggle with humid conditions in your home. That being said, any central AC is going to have some dehumidifying effects on the air in the house. That results in condensation, and that condensation has to go somewhere.

And Therein Lies the Problem

Okay, the condensation dripping off the evaporator coil, where the refrigerant evaporates, needs to be drained out of the house. The condensate drain pan and drain line are responsible for this. If the drain pan is not properly aligned, though, or if the drain line is leaking or backed up, then overflow occurs, giving the appearance of a leak. This is a pretty easy fix.

A more serious problem, potentially, is ice melting off of the evaporator coil.

This could be the result of a very dirty air filter, and you can resolve that problem yourself by changing the air filter in question. A dirty filter restricts airflow, allowing the coil to get too cold because it cannot draw a sufficient amount of heat out of the air.

However, it could also mean that you have a refrigerant leak. That can lead to very serious system damages if given the chance. If your air filter is not dirty, but there is ice on your coil and/or the refrigerant lines, contact us immediately.