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Written by Larry Davies | June 2, 2021
Suppose your AC starts to drip after you’ve shut it off for the day. You notice the water dripping under the unit, and now there’s a small puddle pooling under it. You might be wondering if this is normal because, after all, condensation does happen when you use the AC in the summer. But that’s not the same as having your AC constantly dripping. So what DO you do? Can you ignore it? Fix it yourself? When should you call in a professional and have it checked out? In this blog, we’ll explore how to know if the dripping is a job for a professional or if it’s something you can handle on your own.
Condensation is one of the most common causes of a leaky AC and is usually not too big a deal, depending on where the condensation is happening. With that said, there are a couple of places that condensation occurs. Other problems such as having a clogged drainpipe, frozen evaporator coils, or a cracked/overflowing drain pan can also cause a leaky AC. Here’s what you do if you’re experiencing these issues:
When condensation occurs here, it usually means that your AC’s air filters need to be cleaned or replaced. Dirty air filters restrict the flow of air. When you have good air circulation, the condensation can better evaporate instead of accumulating and possibly freezing (which would then cause dripping when your AC is off). If this is the cause of your dripping problem, it can be fixed by simply cleaning or replacing your air filters.
Because of your AC’s function, it is inevitable for it to drip water. However, that’s why they are built to prevent water from leaking outside of your unit, usually by using two levels of drain pans. The drain pans serve the purpose of catching condensation for it to then flow into the condensate drain pipe and be released outdoors instead of inside your home. Of the two drain pans, one is removable, and one is welded in place. If you notice a crack in the removable pan, a quick fix would be to use a water sealant. A crack in the nonremovable pan calls for a professional replacement. If it’s an overflowing issue, use a wet-dry vacuum to clear it out.
After a while, things like algae, fungi, and debris can clog up your drain pipe. There are a few things you have to do to fix this problem. First, you’ll have to locate the PVC pipe near your AC’s drain pan. Then, you’ll want to pour about 6 ounces of vinegar down the drain line as this will help kill the fungi and algae that accumulate in the drain. If this doesn’t completely fix the issue, you might have to use a wet-dry vacuum or call a professional, as the AC itself may need repairs.
If your AC is new and it’s already giving you leaking problems, the chances are that it was either improperly installed or that the AC unit isn’t the right size or fit for your home. It can also be caused by not using the AC correctly. When the AC unit is on, you’ll want to be sure that windows and doors are closed so that indoor air can become consistently cool. You’ll also want to isolate rooms where the AC unit is being used for the same reason. If the air conditioner is still leaking afterward, you may need to call a professional to find the root of the leaking issue. To avoid accidentally damaging your unit, call in a professional to get it properly installed.
Refrigerant is the chemical compound used in your AC to absorb heat and provide cool air after it goes through compressors and evaporators. Plus, there are three different types of refrigerants, and since they are not interchangeable, using the wrong one can cause damage to your AC unit. Having an insufficient refrigerant level causes the same problems as having dirty air filters — they both result in freezing coils, which eventually overflow the drain pan, thus causing a leaky AC. It’s best to call in a professional because attempting to do it on your own can cause damage to your AC and incur more repair costs in the long run.
The best way to avoid a leaky AC is to schedule routine maintenance and repairs to ensure your AC is always in peak condition. For air conditioning services you can trust, call our professionals at All Comfort Services! We offer comprehensive AC services, including installation, replacement, repair, and maintenance!
In 1973, Larry and his wife Susan started the company, known today as All Comfort Services. Before he started the company, he worked in the industry for eight years as an HVACR technician learning the trade through technical courses at Madison College and on the job with local companies before starting his new company. Larry’s career spans 55 years in the HVAC industry.