If your air conditioner is in your attic you may experience a leak that can come through the ceiling. If the AC unit is not in the attic it can leak onto the floor and into the walls. This is not only a bother, but it can also cause water damage and mold damage to your home that requires water damage restoration and mold remediation.
So, why does this happen and how can you avoid the problem and prevent water damage to your home?
HVAC systems contain evaporator coils. These cool the warm air in your home as it is blown over them. When that happens condensation forms on the coil. In the best-case scenario, this condensation then drips into the drain pan and finally runs through the condensation drain line outside of your house.
Sometimes, the AC leak is due to the condensation drain line becoming clogged. Dirt, debris, mold, or even spider webs can clog up the line causing water to back up into the house. If that’s the case, having an HVAC professional come to clear the line is your best bet.
Another reason you may experience a leak is an old drip pan. If your AC system is older than ten years it’s possible that your drain pan has become damaged or rusted. In that case, the water is no longer being directed to the drain line and simply spills all over the house. That means that the pan needs to be replaced.
Broken condensation pumps can cause a leak if your air conditioning unit is in the basement. The condensation pump pumps the water up and outside of your basement. So, if it is broken, the water builds up and makes a mess. Your HVAC specialist will need to replace the pump if this is the case.
Finally, if your air filter is dirty, or you have a refrigerant leak, you may develop low pressure in your system causing the coils to freeze over. When the unit turns off the coils will defrost and you’ll have an AC leak that leaks water all over. To ensure this doesn’t happen, make sure you change your filters regularly and make sure you’re not leaking refrigerant. How will you know if you’re leaking refrigerant? Your air conditioner won’t cool as well and you may hear noises like hissing or bubbling. If these things are happening, you will either have to repair the leak or replace the whole AC unit. Your HVAC professional will know for sure which is the better option for you.
Some AC units have a float switch that can turn off the system if the water is spilling out. If yours doesn’t have one you can ask to have one installed to avoid water damage from occurring in the first place.