Why Does My AC Unit Leak When I Use it?

BR McGinty Air conditioning Arkansas

As we’ve discussed in several other posts, The AC Unit in your home is not only there to make the temperature of your home cooler, it also dehumidifies the air inside of your home. Where does the humidity go when it gets sucked from your home? It gets filtered through the return grille of your unit. After it passes through the grille it gets rolled over the inside unit’s evaporator coil to cool the air. Naturally as the coil cools the air, condensation builds on the coil. From there the condensation falls into a sloped drain usually comprised of PVC piping that connects to a drain line that exports all of the water buildup out of your home (usually somewhere around your outdoor unit).

If you are experiencing any sort of leaking or dripping around your indoor unit, it could be attributed to any number of issues; some of them easy fixes, others will require professional attention. Does your AC unit leak a lot?  That’s what we are here for!

If the drain line that we referenced above, which leads to the outside of your home, is clogged in any way by dirt, mold, insect, leaves etc, the condensation that is trying to make it’s way out of your home has nowhere to go and ends up backing up into your home. This is a pretty simple fix. All it requires is a wet/dry vacuum cleaner that can be used to suction the blockage out of the piping; it’s most beneficial to do this from the outside. This is also a service that should automatically be done if/when you have a HVAC professional come out at the start of the season for annual maintenance.

It could also be that your evaporator coil is dirty. The reason that this would affect your drainage is that the condensation will mix with the dirt or buildup on your coil, causing mucky water to drip from the coil and into the pan blocking the drain. This essentially provides you with the same sort of issue as the above problem; proof that your drainage pipe does not need to be physically stuffed with debris to collect blockages. Your best bet for resolving this issue will be to contact a professional, so as to avoid getting inside of your unit and messing something up or breaking the coil.

Check for any installation errors. If the person or company that installed your system did not properly fasten or fit your PVC piping then that means the water is not properly draining causing all of the water that drips from your evaporator coil to spill over. It could be that this is a simple fix depending on the severity of the problem. Maybe all you have to do is check the connections and adjust them accordingly. If that does not fix the problem then there is a larger issue with how your system was installed and we would advise that you call us to run a diagnostic to get to the root of it.

People can sometimes forget that the filtration of the air coming through your unit is key to the functionality and to keep from having a leaking unit. If the filter is immensely dirty and has not been changed for a long time, then the air that is being pulled from your home can not make it through to the outside. If this is the case the air will freeze (because it’s humidity/moisture level) and get trapped in your unit. Once that air melts, it drips. It would be recommended highly to ask your HVAC professional how the filter looks any time that you have it serviced.

We know this is a lot of information to digest, but the more information you have the more likely you are to identify the problem. If what you find is something that you can’t fix yourself or it’s one of the issues above that recommends a professional, you know where to find us! Contact us today for a diagnostic and we’ll get you enjoying your Summer months in no time!