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What Should I Do If My AC Is Leaking Water?

March 16, 2022 | Blog

One thing you do not want to see in our Mississippi heat is water leaking from your air conditioning unit. Although condensation on your unit is normal, especially with heavy use during our hot, humid summers, water leaking is not. If your AC is leaking water, don’t panic! Turn off your unit right away and contact our team at Southern Air Mississippi for support.

The most common causes for an AC leak are minor but should get addressed immediately. If not, it can impact your unit’s performance and ruin your home’s ceilings, walls and floors. Keep reading to learn more about what may cause your system to leak.

Four Common Causes of AC Leaks

Dirty Air Filter

The air filter on your AC unit should be changed at least once every 90 days. During summer, when your unit runs more, it should be changed more often to prevent dust and dirt accumulation.

Evaporator coils need warm air to counter the cold, liquid refrigerant they contain for processing and pushing out cool air. A dirty, clogged air filter makes your system work harder and will eventually prevent air from flowing through it at all. Without airflow, the coils cannot absorb heat, causing the refrigerant and coils to get very cold and freeze.

Frozen evaporator coils prevent your unit from producing cool air and drip water as they melt. When the drip pan fills up and overflows, you will see water leaking from it.

If your unit keeps leaking after replacing the air filter and cleaning your vents, it may need refrigerant.

Low Refrigerant

Evaporator coils are powered by the refrigerant to cool air for your home. Reduced volumes of refrigerant lower pressure inside your AC unit, which can cause a leak. Coils low on refrigerant are also unable to cool hot air and will eventually freeze up, which appear as a leak when they melt.

One sign your air conditioner needs refrigerant is that the air it pushes into your home won’t be as cold as usual. You may even hear a bubbling or hissing sound in the unit, which can signal a leak.

Clogged Condensate Drain Line

Your unit collects moisture from the dehumidification process which empties through the condensate drain line. Any dirt, mold, algae or debris mixed in the moisture also passes through the line. They will stick to the sides of it over time, making it gunky.

As gunk accumulates, it will clog the drain line. This blockage prevents condensation from escaping and causes it to back up. It then collects inside the unit and will spill into the drain pan, which will eventually overflow and leak.

Some modern AC units are equipped with an automatic shut-off switch when it detects a clogged condensate drain line. This switch protects the unit, and your home, from water damage. So if your system won’t turn on, check for a clog in the drain line.

Damaged Drain Pan

Underneath the evaporator coils is a drain pan designed to catch condensation as it drips. AC systems over 15 years old may begin showing signs of aging, such as a rusting or cracked drain pan. Replacing a compromised, corroded pan is the best solution once it begins leaking water in unwanted places.

Stopping And Preventing AC Leaks

Catching an unexpected leak and shutting down your AC unit is the first step to preventing further damage to the system and your home. Contact us today to schedule regular HVAC maintenance and inspections at the start of each summer – a great way to prevent your system from leaking water.

Southern Air Mississippi has provided rapid response repair teams in the McComb and surrounding areas for more than 20 years. Our expert technicians are prepared to handle any of your home air needs – including AC installation, repairs, removing drain line blockages, replacing drain pans, refilling refrigerant, and more!

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