Air conditioners can cause extensive mechanical and structural damage if not properly maintained. When AC systems perform at peak levels, they can collect and condense up to twenty gallons daily.
Due to the nature of most AC units’ locations, water damage is often not discovered until it’s too late. Developing a proper AC maintenance schedule and conducting preventative repairs can help protect your home from an AC water leak and unfortunate water damage.
If you’re experiencing an air conditioner water leak, get a licensed professional to inspect your system immediately.
Types of Water Damage to Expect
If your air conditioning system is located in the attic and you discover that it’s leaking water, this can obviously cause significant damage. Water leakage can result in soaked drywall, peeling paint, warped floors and baseboards, and even damage to framing components. If you experience this type of water leak, it can lead to mold and mildew, which are difficult to remove.
Air conditioner leaks can also cause damage to the AC system itself. Humid air can cause corrosion and rust, and this damage can lead to a mechanical breakdown and require the replacement of the entire air conditioning system.
Some of the worst water damage can require extensive remodeling and even replacing structural components in the roof–any homeowner’s nightmare. If you discover your AC leaking water, you’ll need to leave your AC off until the leak has been identified and repaired by an HVAC professional.
5 Causes of AC Leaking Water
If you’re noticing water leaking from your air conditioning unit, consider the following potential causes:
1. Condensate Drain Clog
The most common cause of leaks that result in water damage is a clogged condensate drain line. When the drain plug gets clogged, the condensate has nowhere to go and backs up into the drain pan.
As it pools in the drain pan, it can evaporate, resulting in high humidity. At some point, it will spill out of the drain pan and start damaging roofing structures and drywall as well. It will also lead to mildew and growth, requiring professional remediation.
2. Damaged Drain Pan
If you have an older system, your drain pan could be rusted or damaged. If there’s a hole in the drain pan, water will leak out directly, causing damage slowly. A professional HVAC technician can identify whether or not you need to replace your drain pan.
3. Broken Condensate Pump
If your AC unit contains a condensate pump to push water outside, it can fail, causing water to leak from the front of the unit and could lead to considerable damage. If this is the case, you’ll likely need an HVAC professional to replace the pump.
4. Dirty Air Filters
Dirty and obstructed air filters can block airflow to the evaporator coil. If air cannot freely flow around the evaporator, it will freeze over. Once the coil begins defrosting, it will drip into the drain pan. Drain pans are not equipped for this volume of water, and a leak will start.
5. Low Refrigerant Level
Like a dirty filter, low refrigerant levels can lead the evaporator coil to freeze, resulting in the same type of water damage previously listed above.
Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Water?
If you begin seeing signs of leaks or the scent of mildew, contact Island Comfort today for a quick consultation. Our experienced and licensed team will identify the leak and develop a repair plan. Repairs can be pretty minor in some cases, like blowing out a drain line.
No matter the cause of your AC water leak, we will help you identify the best course of action. Discover why we’re Kauai’s trusted HVAC service and repair technicians that specialize in AC leaks.