Why Is My A/C Unit Leaking?


A/c units can be tricky. They may be performing perfectly while starting to fail inside. When your air conditioner leaks, it’s a clear sign that you need to take action. Let’s talk about the key reasons for such a failure and discuss what you can do about it.

1. The Drain Pipe is Clogged

When your air conditioner’s drain is clogged with debris, mold, dirt, or sludge, the water starts backing up into your home. The humidity inside the drainpipe coupled with condensate traveling through it creates an excellent environment for algae and mold growth. Other signs of a blocked pipe are:

  • A/C isn’t cooling
  • The moldy smell appears when the a/c is running
  • Condensate pan fills up frequently
  • Water damage occurs around the a/c unit

Many methods exist for unclogging the drainpipe, from flushing with a vinegar solution to using a vacuum cleaner. However, the only way to make sure that the entire blockage is removed is to hire air conditioner technicians.

2. Cracked Condensate Pan

Condensate pans are prone to rust. If your air conditioning unit is old (7-10 years), the pan can give out. When that happens, the water starts running.

The condensate pan is often hard to inspect. Usually, it’s located below the evaporator coils. If the pan has a small crack or hole, it’s possible to patch it up. If the damage is severe, you may need to replace the pan.

If you discover condensate pan damage, stop using the air conditioner. Consider asking a professional HVAC technician for assistance.

3. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner’s air filter doesn’t just keep the air in your home clean, it prevents the unit from failing. A clogged filter may contribute to water dripping from frozen evaporator coils.

If your air conditioner is leaking, the filter should be one of the first things you check. Find out when it was replaced the last time. Usually, when you run the unit regularly, the a/c filter needs to be changed every 30 days.

Other signs of a dirty air filter are:

If you believe that the reason for leaking is a dirty filter, replacing it may not be enough. An a/c expert should make sure that no other damage occurred due to the unit running with a clogged filter for a long time.  

4. Low Refrigerant Levels

Just like a dirty filter, low refrigerant levels could lead to evaporator coils freezing and water leaking out of your a/c unit. The reason for low refrigerant levels is usually a leak.Other signs of a leaking refrigerant in your a/c are:

  • Low cooling capacity
  • Frost buildup on fan motors, hoses, pipes, tubes, etc.
  • Hissing or bubbling noises

If you notice these signs, call for professional help. An a/c technician will top off the refrigerant and check for the cause of the leak.

A/C Leak Prevention Techniques

While a/c experts can fix all the above issues, it’s always better to prevent them. Taking care of your air conditioner doesn’t take too much effort. Meanwhile, it can save you time and money.

  • Schedule regular a/c maintenance at least once a year.
  • Replace filters regularly.
  • Keep the unit clean.
  • Inspect the air conditioner for visible damage.
  • Inspect and clean coils every month.
  • Pay attention to the way the unit works (strange sounds, poor cooling, higher energy bills).

Keep Your A/C in Top Shape

Even a small leak could be a sign of big a/c trouble. If you notice water dripping from the unit, act immediately. Turn off the air conditioner and call for professional assistance.

At Accredited Appliance, we offer a full range of air conditioner repair and maintenance services. Call us at any convenient time.

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