You probably know that your air conditioning system doesn’t use water to cool down the air in the house. It uses refrigerant, which moves heat from the indoor evaporator coil and releases it outdoors through the condenser coil. But when you listen to your AC as it’s running, you’ll occasionally hear the sound of water dripping. This is normal and nothing to worry about.
What is something to worry about is when you see water leaking from the HVAC cabinet or puddling around it. An air conditioner is designed to remove water, so when you notice water leaking out of the AC, it’s time to call us for AC repair in New Braunfels, TX. The problem may be a small one we can easily correct, but you don’t want to ignore it—otherwise, you’ll end up with more serious problems on your hands, such as water damage, a moldy AC, or an AC that won’t run at all.
Where Is the Water Coming From?
The water is condensate moisture from the evaporator coil. When the cold refrigerant in the coil evaporates, it pulls heat from the air, cooling it. At the same time, the evaporation causes moisture in the air to condense into water droplets along the coil’s surface.
When the AC is working normally, this water drips from the coil and down into a condensate pan located underneath the coil; this is the source of the sound of dripping water. A pump draws the water from the pan down a drain and through a line that leads to the outside. Removing the water not only prevents it from leaking out of the cabinet, it stops high levels of humidity in the AC that can lead to mold and mildew growth.
Reasons for Water Leaking From the AC
There are several possible causes for an air conditioner to leak water:
- The condensate drain or line is clogged: Humid conditions can lead to algae growth in the drain or line and stop water from leaving the pan. Because the pan is shallow (only about 1” deep), it will soon overflow. Repair experts can clean out the drain and line.
- The drain has corroded: When the drain corrodes, it can become detached from the pan, and water will fall straight through the hole left behind.
- Crack in the condensate pan: Age and heat can cause the plastic condensate pan to crack. This will require professionals to put in a new pan and attach the drain to it.
- The pump is broken: Like any other piece of mechanical equipment, the condensate pump can break. This is often due to a worn-down motor. A broken pump must have professionals replace it.
- The air filter is dirty: If the air filter in the HVAC system is left in place for too long, it will clog and block airflow into the AC. This can lead to the evaporator coil freezing. When the ice from the coil melts, it can overflow the pan. Check to see if you have a clogged filter and change it for a clean one.
At Thayer Air Conditioning, your comfort is our #1 priority! Call us for AC repairs—we’re already on the way.