What would you do if you were passing by your indoor AC unit and wound up with soaking wet feet? You’d probably be pretty confused, right? After all, air conditioners (with the exception of evaporative coolers, which are not really used around here) don’t have a water supply piped into them. Why would they, when they don’t require the use of water at any point in their operation? So does that mean that you’re imagining things?
Well, no. The fact is that you may well have water spilling out of your air conditioner. It is not really a leak in the sense that you may expect, though. There is no storage tank or supply line holding or bringing water into your system. However, moisture does have a role in the air conditioning process. Confused yet? Just keep reading, and learn more about why your air conditioner may (appear to) be leaking water. Let us know if you notice any such problems in your home.
How Serious Is It?
The good news regarding water leaking from your air conditioner is that it is not necessarily a very serious problem. In fact, you may not even need air conditioning repair in Clive, IA. The bad news is, you guessed it: it could be quite serious. The only way to know for sure is to understand a bit about what can cause the problem, including when it is time to call in the professionals. So, let’s take a closer look at some potential causes of the problem.
But First, Where Does the Moisture Come From?
Right, the moisture. Well, as we’ve established, your air conditioner is not fed water nor does it use water in its operation. However, there is moisture in the air. Additionally, while not an effective whole-house dehumidifier, an air conditioner does have some dehumidification effects on the air in your home.
Refrigerant evaporates in the indoor evaporator coil, which is what allows for heat to be removed from the air in your home. When the air cools down, moisture condenses on the coil. That moisture then drips down off the evaporator coil and into the condensate drain pan. From there, it travels out of the house via the condensate drain line.
So What’s the Issue?
Your condensate drain pan may be rusted through, allowing the condensation to leak out. You may also have a clogged up drain line, perhaps due to algal growth. Cleaning it out with a vinegar solution or bleach and vacuuming the clog out may be enough to get water draining again.
You could have a very dirty air filter restricting airflow to the point that the coil gets cold enough to freeze condensation on it. That ice can then melt, overwhelming the drainage assembly and overflowing.
However, such icing could also be the result of a refrigerant leak, rendering the system incapable of removing heat from the air sufficiently. Continuing to run the system with a refrigerant leak can really lead to damage, sometimes irrevocably so.