Water damage is one of a homeowners worst fears, quickly adding up in repair costs and future mold and mildew problems. Most people automatically think plumbing leak when they notice water stains in the ceiling but your A/C can leak and cause just as much damage as a plumbing leak.
If you find your air conditioner leaking you should act fast to prevent water damage as well as expensive A/C repair costs. There are some measures that can be taken immediately to reduce damage and repair costs while you wait on a service professional.
- First thing first, stop the water from leaking by turning the air conditioning system OFF. The easiest way, of course, is to put the thermostat in the off position.
- Once you have put a call for repair go ahead and start cleaning up the water as best as possible. If the water is substantial using a shop vac will speed up the process.
There are a handful of reasons why your air conditioning may be leaking water. Here are the most common reasons:
- Clogged condensation drain line.
- Disconnected drain line.
- Old rusty or clogged drain pan.
- Frozen evaporator coil.
- Dirty or damaged coils.
Drain line clogged
Issues with the condensate drain line are the most common cause of an air conditioner leaking water inside the house. Rather the drain line is clogged, old and rusted, or not installed properly it can lead to serious problems if not fixed quickly.
Your air conditioner cools the air down by removing water vapor from the air, which condenses into water called condensate. When the air conditioning is working as designed the condensate collects on the evaporator coil, flows down into the drain pan, and out through the condensation drain line. If the drain line does not allow the water to flow properly it can lead to water backing into the pan or even rupture the line.
The condensate drain should be cleaned at least once a year during your biannual maintenance.
Drain pan leaks
Drain pan are placed under indoor systems to collect the condensation before passing through the drain line. When the drain line becomes clogged causing water to sit in your drain pan it will almost always lead to rusting. When drain pans become rusted they will develop holes and cracks allowing the water to leak out before draining through and out of the drain line.
If your drain pan is not installed or sized properly you may also experience water damage. Drain pans are an essential part of running your air conditioning safely without causing damage to your home. Drain pans should be large enough to sit under your system with some over hang on all sides.
If you expect that your drain pan is the culprit you should consider calling in a specialists to have it replaced. In most cases the system will need to be disconnected and lifted to replace the drain pan properly.
Frozen coils is an extremely common problem experienced by homeowners in the summer months. If you are seeing a layer of ice or frost on the evaporator coils you should shut the system off immediately and place a service call. If the system continues to run you could be causing additional mechanical problems, sometimes even leading to complete system failure that can not be repaired.
There are a few different reasons that lead to systems and coils freezing up. Some may be inexpensive fixes like clogged or dirty air filters, while some are more costly repairs like a refrigerant leak. If you have not replaced the filter in awhile you should check the filter while you are waiting on a repair man. Even if you do find a dirty filter, having a technician check over the system is still a good idea to be sure no added damage was done to the system.
If your are experiencing coils freezing up a repair man cannot preform a diagnosis until the system is thawed out.
Dirty & damaged coils
We cannot express how important regular air conditioning maintenance is. Many homeowners would see at least an additional 3-5 years of life expectancy and much less repair costs when maintained properly. Air conditioning systems are a big piece of machinery that has lots of moving parts and many ways to break down if not shown a little TLC every now again.
When systems are not cleaned properly the coils will eventually build up dust and grime not allowing proper air flow. They can sometimes get so dirty that the insulation on the outside of the coils can become cracked or damaged. Both of these symptoms will most certainly lead to water leaking outside of the drain pan and eventually water damage as well as additional system failures.
Coils can be cleaned with just water but it is recommended to have a professional give them a good cleaning with specialized products designed to fully clean the coils without damaging them. Coil fins can be easily damaged if you are not careful leading to much worse problems.
Rather you are experiencing a problem currently or just looking for a good maintenance plan, R. A. Styron is the specialist you can count on. We have technicians that specialize in maintenance and seasoned technicians that can diagnosis any problem that your system may be experiencing. Scheduling is simple and fast rather you want to contact us via email or phone at 757-420-5488.