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Why Does My AC Leak Water?

Monday, July 07, 2014

If you've just stumbled across a puddle near your air handler, you may be wondering why the AC is leaking. You probably don't need to search for a valve to close because the water probably isn't coming from your plumbing system. The source of moisture is more likely your own indoor environment, and a puddle may indicate a problem in the air handler.

Why is There Moisture?

Many homeowners don't realize that an air conditioner is also a dehumidifier. With the high levels of humidity in so many Texas communities, conditions can be extremely uncomfortable during the worst of the summer's heat. Exposure to cold conditions can cause some of that moisture to condense, the reason that your iced tea glass may sweat when you set it on the table for a few minutes. This principle allows your refrigerant and evaporator coils to draw moisture from the indoor air. As moisture collects on the coils, it drips into a drain pan and is pumped out through drain lines.

What Causes the Leaks?

One of the most common causes of an AC leak is a malfunctioning or dirty drainage system. Your drain pan and lines may collect dirt when your equipment isn't maintained or your filter isn't changed frequently enough. You could also be dealing with a malfunction in the condensate pump. In either case, a professional assessment of the situation is warranted. Cleaning of the drainage system occurs during your annual maintenance call, and your technician can do some AC troubleshooting at this time to identify the exact reason for the leak.

Excess moisture in the system may cause your drain pan to be overfilled. At times, malfunctioning or poorly maintained equipment can cause ice to form on your coils during an AC freeze. When you turn the system off, the ice will melt and drip into the pan. If you have noticed a leak in close succession to AC troubleshooting for ice, your leak may be easily explained.

Expert Installations and Air Conditioning Repairs

A less common reason for an AC leak may be a system that has been installed without proper balancing. This may result in drainage problems and leaks. Make sure that you enlist the help of a reputable professional by researching local Texas Air Comfort Contractors.

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