Why is my air conditioner dripping and what should I do?

As the warmer months finally arrive, your air conditioning system will start to work harder again. That’s why we prepared this handy guide to a common air conditioner issue: leaks and drips.

If your system is emitting water in unexpected ways, read on to find out what the potential cause could be and what you should do next.

How Air Conditioners Operate

Most air conditioning systems consist of both an indoor and an outdoor unit. The indoor unit contains an evaporator coil, and this has a cooling effect on warm air that helps to create a comfortable temperature.

Condensation starts to form as hot air blows over the coil, though. This condensation produces moisture, which manifests as drips into your system’s drain pan. This drains the water away from your property.

If there’s an issue with your air conditioner, it may leak water into your house. There are a few potential causes for this problem.

Causes of Air Conditioner Leaks and Drips

  • Clogged drain line

This is the most likely cause of an air conditioner leak. Your drain line may be suffering a blockage due to accumulated debris such as dust and mold. Clogs stop water from escaping as it should, and the line becomes backed up as a result. That’s why you’re seeing water in your home.

You may be able to unclog your own drain line using a wet/dry vac. If you don’t have the equipment or your attempt is unsuccessful, call out professionals like Beehive Heating and Air and we can easily handle it for you.

  • Dirty air filter

    You should know by now that changing your air conditioner’s filter every 30 days is an essential aspect of system maintenance. If you neglect this, your system will have to work harder, which can shorten the lifespan of your air conditioner.

    A dirty filter also has the potential to block the airflow that should be moving over the unit’s evaporator coil. This may cause your coil to freeze. When this frozen coil melts, it generates excess water. Once your drain pan overflows, you’ll notice a leak or drip from your system.

    Consider this a great reminder to change your air filters more regularly in future!
  • Low refrigerant levels

    When the volume of refrigerant lowers, your air conditioner system pressure also lowers. Like the dirty air filter above, this can cause your evaporator coil to freeze. As it thaws out, a wet mess is made.

Stay vigilant: if your air conditioner isn’t cooling as effectively as it usually is, check the levels of refrigerant it contains. If you hear a hissing or bubbling sound, it may be that you already have a leak, and this requires professional intervention whether to repair or replace the system.

  • Old or broken system

As with any other appliance, air conditioners have a limited lifespan. Over time, its vital parts may deteriorate. For example, if your system has a rusty or broken drain pan, you’ll soon see water leaking in your home.

Another reason your air conditioner might be leaking is if it has a broken condensate pump. When this occurs, water can’t be pumped outside of the home, and this requires an urgent repair to avoid expensive water damage.

When you observe a leak from your air conditioner, it’s a good idea to call experienced technicians like the Beehive Heating and Air team. We’ll be able to quickly diagnose and resolve the problem, restoring full functionality to your air conditioning system.

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