While the formation of condensation is a natural process, it can mean something needs to be fixed. Condensation on AC units is a sign you need to check the unit for a problem. AC units are built to combat condensation. If condensation builds up on the appliance or you notice water leaking, something inside isn’t functioning correctly.
There are a few different issues that cause condensation problems. Knowing what they are will help you solve the problem sooner and avoid the complications that arise from moisture buildup.
Why Does Condensation AC Form?
Condensation is the process of water vapor becoming liquid. It happens in two ways: the air reaches a saturation point or is cooled down to its dew point. The dew point is the temperature at which condensation occurs. A soda can forms condensation because warm air hits the cold can, rapidly cooling the air to its dew point. Water droplets then gather on the can.
The same happens for the air conditioning unit. Your AC has an evaporator coil that cools the warm air that passes over it. The coil absorbs the heat and the moisture, leaving the cool air behind to flow through your home. The water drips out a drain line into a drip pan. Then, the liquid evaporates or drains into the ground outside your home.
If all is working well, evaporator coils are the only place condensation should appear. If excess condensation is gathering on the unit or the vents, something isn’t operating correctly. There is a problem with your air conditioning system, and it is time to call an HVAC repair service.
Causes for Condensation on AC Vent
There are a few different things that can cause condensation buildup on your AC. The first thing to check is the condensation pan. If it is damaged or rusted, it leaks and causes problems. If it isn’t the drain pan, it might be the condensation pump, which (as the name implies) pumps water buildup in basement units outside the home. Water buildup can cause mildew, rust, and other damage, so it must be pumped out properly.
If the airflow is blocked over the evaporator coil, it gets too cold and freezes. As the coil thaws, the water drips into the pan, causing an overflow. Dirty air filters and debris in the lines can block the airflow, so check your filters regularly.
Low refrigerant also causes the evaporator coil to freeze over—the pressure in the AC system drops and freezes condensation. You notice the pan overflowing or condensation gathering when it starts to melt. Usually, when the refrigerant is low, the air doesn’t seem as cool. This sign means it’s time to call an HVAC repair company to ensure there isn’t a leak.
Why is AC Condensation a Problem?
Condensation gathering and overflowing in your AC unit can lead to water damage in your home. Indoor units with untended leaks can cause extensive damage to floors and walls. Leaking water raises humidity levels in your home as well. Humidity in Hawaii isn’t just uncomfortable; it can cause mold and mildew to grow. Mold and mildew growth cause physical damage to both your home and your health.
Too much water in the air conditioner causes the unit to shut down. If the condensation pan is too full, it triggers an overflow switch that shuts the AC off. There is a chance it will turn back on again once the system has been serviced. To avoid going too long without AC, regularly check for condensation buildup on the unit. You can also schedule annual maintenance to ensure your system is working optimally.
Island Comfort AC Services
Island Comfort Air Conditioning is a family-owned and operated AC and heating company on Oahu and Kauai. Our goal is to ensure your comfort comes first. Properly working air conditioning in the humid air of the islands is essential. Condensation buildup can be a struggle. Contact us today to learn more about how our services can benefit you.