Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Causes

An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by extracting heat and humidity from the air. As the AC extracts humidity from the air, it produces condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is typically collected in a drain pan and transported through piping into your home’s drain system.

A byproduct of this process, damaged pipes or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water returns to the drain pan within your furnace or air handler. It can then leak into your home. This is especially troublesome if your furnace or air handler is installed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In the bulk of homes, building codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is found underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan possesses piping that is directed to the outside of the home. Typically, the outlet of the pipe is located above the outside of a window so it’s easily noticeable if water is draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water leaking from piping on the outside of your home, this is likely evidence the primary drain is backed up and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most general reasons for why your AC is leaking water and how to resolve the issue. Some homes can also use a safety device that should automatically turn off your AC should the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you see water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to minimize any other water damage and reach out to a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently do best with professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We happily deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.*

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked

When hot, humid air runs along the evaporator coil, water collects on the chilly metal surface. In the end, the water drains into a pan underneath the indoor coil in the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence takes place, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan overflows.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris can clog the drain. This prevents the water from flowing away properly. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to guarantee it’s done properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also put in a safety device that will autonomously shut off your AC in the event the drain becomes backed up again sometime after, thus preventing water damage in your home. Of course, scheduling maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and open.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While not very common, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This may be the cause if someone is working around the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line is lose from the pan. Check your AC to determine if the drain line is still attached to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we encourage calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue immediately. Arrange an appointment with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners require a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are compulsory when the home’s drain system is put above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water may build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is malfunctioning. First, make sure that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the problem, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Dirty or Broken

If you see tiny drips instead of a larger puddle around the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be splashing off the evaporator coil rather than properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can be the case if the coils are grimy, or if holes in the insulation around the coils redirect the water. The best approach to stop the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you find a leak and the AC isn't cooling properly, the refrigerant level may be low thanks to a leak. Air conditioners depend on refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it looked at regularly during seasonal maintenance is incredibly beneficial for the working condition of your unit. Without enough refrigerant, the evaporator coils could freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Contrary to some expectations, your AC does not need to be replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only needed when a leak happens within the system. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning as soon as you can to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter needs to be changed regularly to ensure adequate airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils could become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to collect in the drain pan—potentially causing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem doesn’t go away, more repairs may be required. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are ready to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are made to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder could cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and may lead to an overflow thanks to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are designed to last, but nothing survives forever. If you own an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan may be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak might appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working like it’s supposed to.

Our Experts Can Tackle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again right away.

Our technicians are thoroughly trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete exemplary work. We have full confidence in our repairs—in fact, we back up everything we perform with a one-year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!*

We’ll even advise signing up for a worry-free membership plan. This could help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, faster so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house comfortable.

Contact us at 239-908-6991 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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