Chances are that you have heard about the dangers of refrigerant leaks in your air conditioning system. You probably have not heard too much about water leaks in the system, however. And why should you have? A central air conditioning system doesn’t use water. It has no water piped to it, and it certainly doesn’t have a water storage tank of any kind. So how the heck is it that the AC in your home is leaking water, then?
The good news is that you’re not crazy—or, at least, not because you’re seeing water leak out of your system. The bad news is that, well, you are actually seeing what you think you’re seeing! Even a little bit of water can do real damage to a home, and the fact is that any abnormality in terms of how your air conditioner operates is a sign of potentially serious trouble. Let’s take a look at causes of these “water leaks” and when you may need professional HVAC services in Durham, NC.
Where Is It Coming From?
The first step in figuring out how to deal with what appears to be a water leak is to determine where the water is actually coming from. Yes, it could be coming from your AC itself. However, you could also have a leak in a water heater, your washing machine, or even from heavy rain that has infiltrated your home! If your AC unit is located in a low point on your property, then the water may just be pooling near it, not coming from it.
Now, if the water is definitely coming from the AC, there are a few potential sources.
- The condensate drain pan/drain line, which is responsible for removing condensation from your home.
- Melting ice, which can result from condensation freezing on the evaporator coil
Let’s Take a Closer Look
Okay, so why is there condensation on the coil or in the system at all. I thought my AC cannot function as a whole-house dehumidifier? Well, it can’t. At least not effectively. However, some level of dehumidification is a direct byproduct of the cooling process, with humidity being removed from the air as the evaporation of refrigerant in the evaporator coil takes place.
If your condensate drain pan is not properly aligned in the system, if it’s damaged or rusted through, or if the condensate drain line is blocked or leaking, then you’ll see this water pooling around your system. It’s not a tough fix, but one you’ll want completed ASAP.
Now, the potentially good/potentially very bad news. It may be the result of ice melting. Why is this good or bad? Because there are different reasons this may occur.
- A very dirty air filter could be to blame. It will restrict airflow to the point where the evaporator coil gets too cold, resulting in the freezing of condensation on that coil. Just changing the air filter can resolve the problem in this situation.
- However, it could also be a refrigerant leak. If this is the case, serious damages can result from continued operation. You could all but destroy your compressor, in fact, so let us know the moment that you suspect this may be the case.