Why Your AC is Leaking Water and What You Should Do About It

Finding a leak in any appliance in your home can be a worrisome sight; however, a leak in your air conditioner can be especially distressing, especially in the hot summer months when you rely on it the most. If you notice a pool of water around your AC unit, don’t panic—leaks are common and often painless to repair. Here are some typical causes of AC leaks and what to do about them.

Condensate drain line clogging. The drain line of your AC unit can easily get clogged with dirt, dust, mold, and other contaminants. Taking a wet/dry vacuum to the condensate drain line can get rid of most clogging; however, if you’re unsure how to go about it, you can call a professional who will use a specialized vacuum to remove the blockage.

Damaged or rusty drain pain. If your air conditioner is on the older side, the drain pan in your AC may be completely rusted through. Replacing the pan can completely fix the leak.

Broken or damaged condensate pump. If your AC is installed in the basement, it means your unit uses a condensate pump to eject water outside. Water pooling around your basement unit could mean a broken or damaged condensate pump, which is easily replaced or repaired.

Incorrect installation. An AC leak could be caused by something as simple as a poor installation technique. If your unit is poorly connected or isn’t the right size, you could find yourself with leaks or other issues. Reinstalling the system properly can mitigate these issues and prevent others from occurring in the future.

Soiled air filter. Air conditioners pull warm air from outside, run it through a filter, and eject it into your indoor space as cool air. If the filter becomes too dirty to function properly, however, your unit will start pulling air from inside the home, creating a loop of recycled air that causes the unit to become colder and colder. This will lead to the condensation of more and more water within the unit, which will eventually cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once the unit does eventually warm-up, the frozen evaporator coils will thaw, creating a leak. Air filter issues and other relatively simple problems with AC units can be prevented with regular air conditioner maintenance.

Low refrigerant. If the refrigerant in the unit is too low, the pressure in the AC will lower in turn, causing the evaporator coil to freeze over (much like a soiled air filter would do).