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Dowd Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Why an AC Can Start to Leak Water

water

Air conditioning systems use the circulation of refrigerant in a closed loop to cool down a house: cold refrigerant evaporates along the indoor coil to absorb heat, and hot refrigerant releases that heat to the outdoors. 

We provided that short description of how an AC works to show you that water doesn’t play a part in cooling down the conditioned air you get from your home’s air conditioner. And yet, you may notice water dripping out of the indoor AC unit. Why is this happening and do you need to have repairs done? We’ll answer both questions below.

Causes of an Air Conditioner Leaking Water

An air conditioner may not use water to cool down the air (there’s a different type of cooling system called an evaporative cooler that works this way, although you won’t see them in our area), but water is a product of how the AC works. 

Here’s how it happens: when the cold refrigerant inside the indoor coil (the evaporator coil) evaporates, it not only absorbs heat, it also draws water moisture from the air and causes it to condense as droplets along the coil’s surface. This water must go somewhere. It drips off the coil into a shallow pan located underneath the coil. A pump draws this water down a drain and through a line that exits to the outside. 

If there is a malfunction with this drainage system, it will often cause the condensate water to leak from the AC. Several common problems can lead to this:

  • Algal growth has blocked the drain, causing the pan to soon overflow. 
  • Corrosion on the drain has caused it to separate from the pan, leaving a gap in the pan.
  • The motor in the condensate pump has burned out. 
  • The pan has developed cracks with age.

Leaks Need to Have Professional Attention

A leak from an AC isn’t a small problem. In the first place, you don’t want water dripping into your home where it shouldn’t. But the bigger issue is that condensate drainage problems can cause the AC to shut down or lead to a rise in humidity that lowers the air conditioner’s efficiency and invites mold and mildew growth in the system. A moldy AC will work ineffectively and spread foul odors around the house—it may even lower indoor air quality with toxic mold spores.

The lowdown of all this: when you notice water leaking from your air conditioning system, call for professional AC repair in Levittown, PA. Our technicians will quickly find the source and take care of the repairs to fix it, which can include replacing the drain, the pump, or the pan, reattaching the drain, or cleaning the drain. If the water has done any damage to the air conditioner already, we’ll see the problem is remediated so the AC can get back to doing the best job your household needs for the summer.

We are your highly rated, one-stop-shop HVAC company serving Bucks and Montgomery Counties, Philadelphia, and the surrounding areas.

Rely on Dowd Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning when you need fast and effective AC repair. A Degree Above the Rest.

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