Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Causes

An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by pulling heat and humidity from the air. As the AC extracts humidity from the air, it creates condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is usually kept in a drain pan and transported through piping into your home’s drain system.

A byproduct of this process, an error or sludge buildup may cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan within your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is particularly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is kept in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In the bulk of homes, municipal codes necessitate a secondary or safety drain pan that is installed underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is sent to the outside of the home. Usually, the outlet of the pipe is found above the outside of a window so it’s quickly noticeable if water is draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water dripping from piping on the outside of your home, this is often a sign the primary drain is clogged and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most general causes for why your AC is leaking water and how to resolve the issue. Some homes will also use a safety device that can automatically turn off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you spot water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to "off" to prevent anymore water damage and get in touch with a Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners often require professional servicing, which is why we’re here to assist you at Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare. We proudly deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.*

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked

When hot, humid air runs along the evaporator coil, water condenses on the cold metal surface. At the end of the process, the water drains into a pan underneath the indoor coil inside the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence takes place, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan becomes full.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris might clog the drain. This prevents the water from moving away properly. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare for the peace of mind it’s performed properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will autonomously shut off your AC if the drain becomes clogged again later on, thus avoiding water damage in your home. Of course, routine maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain flushed and unhindered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While unusual, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This may occur if someone is working nearby the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks may occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Check your AC to determine if the drain line is still connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we encourage calling an HVAC technician to resolve this issue immediately. Schedule an appointment with Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners need a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are needed when the home’s drain system is placed above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water can build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is damaged. First, make sure that the pump is still powered. If that’s not the case, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should check with an air conditioning contractor like Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Cracked

If you see small drips in lieu of a more substantial puddle nearby the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be bouncing off the evaporator coil compared to properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can occur if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation protecting the coils redirect the water. The best approach to keep the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you notice a leak and the AC isn't cooling properly, the refrigerant level may be lacking thanks to a leak. Air conditioners count on refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it looked at thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is highly important for the health of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils could freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Despite some expectations, your AC does not need to be recharged unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only done when a leak occurs in the system. Call Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare right away to repair AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter needs to be changed regularly to ensure proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to accumulate in the drain pan—possibly producing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem persists, additional repairs may be needed. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare are here to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are built to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Using your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder can cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and may lead to an overflow because of ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are built to last, but nothing lives forever. If you have an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan could be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak might appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working normally.

Our Experts Can Handle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare can solve the issue. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again without delay.

Our technicians are thoroughly trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete exemplary work. We have full confidence in our repairs—in fact, we back up everything we perform with a one-year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!*

We’ll even recommend a worry-free membership plan. This will sometimes help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, sooner so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cool.

Contact us at 519-804-1617 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!