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Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Blog

Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

question-markHave you ever walked by a house or apartment with a window unit that’s dripping water? No, that isn’t a special kind of air conditioner, and no it’s not about to short circuit. Air conditioners produce water. It’s a natural by-product of the cooling process. If it weren’t for this process, we’d still be uncomfortable even with the chilled air from our ACs.

However, while some leaks are normal, many are not. There is a specific component of your air conditioner, the condensate drain, that is intended to catch all the condensate water pulled from inside your home and then dump it outside. If there are problems with this drain that stops water from exiting, you might end up finding water leaking elsewhere in your home. In that case, you’re better off calling an HVAC contractor in Indianola, IA.

Want to know more? Keep reading!

The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly Leaks

As we mentioned earlier, there are good AC leaks and bad AC leaks. Water has to exit out of your air conditioning unit somewhere, either through your condensate drain or along the walls. So, before you contact a technician, it’s best to know what kind of leak you’re dealing with first.

Normal Leaks

When your air conditioner is functioning properly, condensate forms along the evaporator coil of the inside unit. This water drips down into a condensate pan, where it ends up in the drain and eventually outside. If you hear a dripping noise coming from a perfectly maintained HVAC system, this is the explanation for that sound. Although not all air conditioners make that dripping noise, and you should still contact a professional if you’re unsure, it could just be the condensate draining.

Abnormal Leaks

So, what happens if that condensate drain gets clogged? No, the water doesn’t magically disappear. It begins to show up in places you’d rather stay dry.

  • Discolored Walls. An AC unit that has a clogged condensate drain might disperse this water along the walls. This could turn your drywall into “wet-wall.”
  • Discolored Carpet or Floor. Eventually, that water will reach the floor. If there are noticeable, discolored spots on your floor around your air conditioner, your drain is clogged.
  • Mold Growing. Mold can sometimes begin to grow where there has been prolonged contact with dripping water.
  • Warped Wood. Too much exposure to water could make your floorboards and walls expand and bend. If your AC starts leaking without proper drainage, the area around your unit might be permanently damaged.

Proper Drain Maintenance

Most of the time when there’s a condensate leak, the signs are quite obvious. Any peculiar sounds or problems with an air conditioner are good enough reasons to call one of our technicians. However, if you’re still unsure, you can pass a stiff wire through your unit’s drain channels. If you’re finding a lot of resistance, or you can’t pass the wire at all, it’s time to contact a professional.

If you suspect your air conditioner can’t drain properly, contact a professional at Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling!

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