Summertime is around the corner. I presume you are now checking your air conditioner to ensure it is working well to avoid inconveniences during hot afternoons.
If you realize that your AC is leaking, there are some reasons to explain it. Below are some of the causes of AC leaks and how you can fix them.
1. Issues with the condensate drain line
Drain line issues are the most common causes of air conditioner leaks. One such problem is the clogged condensate drain line. When dirt, dust, mold, algae, and debris collect on the drain line, it clogs the line and causes water to back up and leak into your home.
Also, if your drain line is not installed correctly, then it may cause your air conditioner to leak. A drain line that is loosely fit or one that contains many elbow connection with 90-degree angles can prevent water from flowing freely to the drain pan and therefore cause leaks.
What you should do.
To prevent the condensate drain line from clogging you need to clean it regularly. You can use a wet/dry vacuum to suck any dirt present in the drain line.
Pouring vinegar or chlorine bleach along the drain line after every 3 to 6 months can also help to kill any algae growing in the line.
If you suspect the elbow connections to be the cause of your Air conditioner leaking, consult a professional air conditioning service technician. The expert will ensure your air conditioning installation is done correctly by changing the 90-degree angles elbow connections to 45 degrees to allow the water to flow freely.
2. Damaged drain pan
The drain pan is located beneath the air handler to collect condensate from the drain line. The collected water then gets pumped out of the air conditioner by a condensate pump.
A damaged drain pan can cause your air conditioner to leak in two ways. First, your drain pain can be affected by rust and develop holes. This makes water to fall right through the holes.
Secondly, if your condensate pump is broken, water will not get pumped out. When the water is left to accumulate in the drain pan, it will overflow and make your air conditioner to leak.
What you should do.
You can detect a damaged drain pan using a flashlight. You should first clean the drain pan with a wet/dry vacuum then thoroughly inspect for any leaking points.
If your drain pan is not severely damaged (In case of a small crack), you can use a water sealant to fix the leakages. However, if your air conditioner is old, consider replacing the entire pan. An air conditioning service company can help you with this.
3. Frozen evaporator coils
When your evaporator coil freezes, ice forms which melt and drops as water leading to air conditioner leakage. Frozen evaporator coils occur due to two main reasons.
The first reason is due to clogged air filters. When dirt accumulates in the air filter, it blocks warm air from flowing over the coils. Since the evaporator coils cannot absorb heat, they freeze and form ice which drops as water.
Refrigerant leaks can also result in frozen coils. Refrigerants are the chemicals present in the AC coils which assist in changing the temperature and pressure to ensure proper absorption of heat. If there are refrigerant leaks, there will be no pressure and therefore no absorption of heat from your home. This makes the coil to freeze.
If ice stays on your coils for long, it will damage and burn out your compressor. Compressors are very expensive and may require you to replace your entire AC unit.
What you should do.
If you see a layer of ice on your evaporator coil, you should first turn off your air conditioner to prevent damaging the compressor. You can then starting fixing the problem.
To avoid frozen coils, you should clean the air vents and cooling fins. Use a soft brush to clear any debris that may block the coils.
You can also consider replacing the air filters to fix the problem. Best air conditioning installation practices recommend changing the air filters after every 1 to 3 months.
Your leaking Air conditioner is always a sign that your AC unit is experiencing one of the problems above. While you can fix most of these problems on your own, it is advisable to seek the services of an air conditioner repair specialist. In addition to fixing the issues, the technician can advise you on the best practices to make your AC last longer.