Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Water? Find Out the 10 Possible Reasons Now

So you’re still searching for an answer to the question, “why is my air conditioner leaking water?” There’s no need to worry just yet, though. Millions and millions of AC owners like you are probably in the same tricky situation right now.

What’s really interesting is that there are a lot of possible reasons why your AC unit is leaking. It could be a mechanical issue or something that could be remedied with a quick fix. Make sure you follow along to learn more.

The Importance of Knowing Why Your Air Conditioner is Leaking Water

An air conditioner that leaks water every time you use it is definitely not a good thing. And just to make things even worse, this issue can expose you to several other problems before you know it. 

Having a house with a musty smell is just the least of your problems. Ignoring leaking air conditioners is a big no-no. Here are a few issues that you could be in for if you don’t fix that leaking AC as soon as possible:

  • Damage to the electronics. Constant exposure to water leaks can cause contact corrosion. Constant contact with water is something AC units can withstand. However, too much contact with water is a different story. Rusted out contacts can eventually lead to short circuits if not taken care of immediately.
  • Deterioration of wooden parts and furnishings. Leaking water can seep inside wood and cause warping. If this happens more than often, the wood can eventually deform and rot from the inside out. It’s also going to be vulnerable to fungi infestation.
  • Mildew and mold. You’re just setting up your abode for a mold and mildew attack if you’ve got an air conditioner leaking water. These unwanted organisms thrive in areas with excessive moisture and leaking AC’s is one of their favorite breeding grounds. (Click here to find out how you can check for mold in the basement while we’re at it.)
  • It may lead to allergies and other health issues. Constant exposure to mold and mildew can take a serious toll on your health and well-being. Apart from coughing, having watery eyes, and headaches, these things can potentially cause lung irritation and skin rashes as well.

We’re pretty sure you don’t want to be prone to these situations. This is why we’ve compiled the 10 best possible reasons why your air conditioner is leaking water. Without further ado, let’s get right down to it.

Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Water? Here are the Top 10 Reasons Why

#1: Something may be clogging up the filter.

filter air conditioner leaking water

Your AC unit’s filter plays a major role in its overall operation. It basically prevents various unwanted contaminants and particulates from getting through the machine’s inner components. The filter catches and traps these contaminants and particulates to keep your AC working smoothly.

Examples of these include bacteria, pet hair, fine particles of wood, plastic, metal, lint, mold, and dust. Given the amount of these things hovering invisibly in your home, serious problems can ensue if something happens to the filter. One of these issues is clogging.

The cooling mechanism of your AC tends to go into overdrive, resulting in damage to its internal components. If the filter is clogged, your air conditioner is forced to work double time. Your power bill will also balloon in the process.

Things to Keep in Mind:

If you notice water leaking from your AC unit, chances are the filter is clogged. The filter should be thoroughly checked and cleaned every month, especially if it is used regularly. Damaged filters should be replaced immediately.

#2: Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Water? The air might be flowing to places where it shouldn’t.

air air conditioner leaking water

An air conditioner is designed to release air only in specific places. An air leak encourages moisture in areas of the AC that shouldn’t be wet at all. This eventually leads to a full-blown water leak if the problem isn’t fixed immediately.

One way to determine if there’s an air leak is by powering the device and feel where the air flows. It should be only released from the vents and nowhere else. If you feel that air is being blown in different places, chances are there is an air leak. 

Things to Keep in Mind:

Make sure you contact a professional right away to fix the problem. This is because air leaks tend to worsen each time your AC is turned on.

#3: Your AC pump may not be functioning properly.

pump air conditioner leaking water

A pump inside your air conditioner directs water to flow to specific places. It also functions by removing the water that accumulates in and around the cooling coil to prevent any seepage. This pump is just under the cooling coil. 

Once the pump breaks down, water tends to pool around the cooling coil, which leads to leaking sooner or later. The excess water can also get to places where it shouldn’t be, like the electronics causing even more damage.

Things to Keep in Mind:

Regular examination of the AC unit’s pump is essential. This is to keep it functioning properly. You have to check the pump for any debris. You can avoid more serious issues in the long run if you habitually do this.

#4: Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Water? A blockage might be in your drain line.

drain line air conditioner leaking water

The drain line is basically one of your AC unit’s passageways. The pan is directed from the condensate drain, and the water collected is collected in the drain line. Most AC units have an outdoor component that gathers this water and eventually disposes of it.

The water collected from the drain plan does not flow properly if something is blocking the drain line. It also ends up accumulating inside your AC, getting higher and higher by the minute until it becomes a leak.

Things to Keep in Mind:

A simple way to remedy drain line issues is by using a wet-dry vacuum to suck up any blockages. It could be anywhere from dust particles to lint, which somehow made their way to the drain line’s interior. If this doesn’t get your drain line up and running again, call a professional to take care of it.

It is possible that some mechanical component caused the jam, and some technical tinkering should be done.

#5: The condenser coil might need a bit of examining.

condenser coil air conditioner leaking water

The condenser coil is the part of your AC unit that traps heat to make a room or area cooler. Most air conditioners usually have this part on their exterior. A condenser coil is usually made from copper. 

Since the condenser coil is located outside of the unit—and normally outside your home, too—it’s vulnerable to the elements. Debris can also get in constant contact with it. If your AC is not appropriately maintained, minute holes that cause leaks can appear over time.

Things to Keep in Mind:

One of the best ways to prevent leaks and holes in your condenser coil is to keep it clear from leaves, pebbles, and twigs daily. These are the most common debris that can contact the condenser coil and will probably cause damage along the way.

#6: Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Water? Your AC may be incorrectly installed.

installation air conditioner leaking water

Setting up an AC is somewhat technical in nature. It’s not just about choosing a place where to put the appliance and giving the whole thing a power source. Some certain guidelines and factors need to be considered for the unit to perform optimally.

Did you know that an air conditioner has to have a certain location and degree of inclination to work properly? This can be easily observed in window-type AC’s that require a certain tilt to keep the water drained efficiently.

And if these factors and guidelines are ignored, serious issues tend to occur almost immediately. One of these problems is water leakage, among others, including poor cooling and high power consumption.

Things to Keep in Mind:

Unless you’ve got the required expertise to install an air conditioner the right way, ask a pro to do it. It’s much safer and cheaper this way. Plus, you’re guaranteed that there won’t be any leaks with the right amount of maintenance and care.

#7: The drain pan may have already rusted out.

drain pan air conditioner leaking water

The drain pan basically works by acting as a temporary reservoir and directs the collected water for draining. Drain pans are designed to withstand constant water contact. However, they can still be vulnerable to rust. Neglecting to remove this can lead to leaks. The lack of regular maintenance can lead to corrosion.

This is because the water simply flows everywhere without a proper place for it to flow. A faulty drain pan is really dangerous since the water could get to a power source accidentally. It could also lead to the deterioration of any furnishings made of wood near the unit.

Things to Keep in Mind:

These days, you can find drain pans made of plastic. However, regular cleaning and maintenance are still needed to keep them functioning properly. This is to prevent the accumulation of gunk. Or else you’ll just find yourself having a leaky AC eventually. 

#8: Something may be clogging up the condensation line.

clogged air conditioner leaking water

The condensation line is one of the integral parts of your AC unit. This is where hot air is trapped and transformed into cool air using the process of condensation. However, this also involves turning air into liquid water. 

Things to Keep in Mind:

The condensation line needs to be free from any blockage or debris whatsoever to function as it should. The water stagnates when there is a clog in the line. It also forces the collected water to flow to areas it shouldn’t, resulting in leaks. Regular maintenance easily takes care of this issue. 

#9: Your AC needs regular maintenance.

maintenance air conditioner leaking water

Keeping your air conditioner clean and functional is the primary meaning of “maintenance.” Regular maintenance of your unit helps you spot any traces of damage or issues. Your unit must also be free from debris and other possible things that can affect its performance.

Although this sounds simplistic, making it a point to schedule regular maintenance for your AC can spare you a lot of expenses and trouble. This is because you’re going to spot any problems before they can give you any headaches.

Things to Keep in Mind:

There’s a very simple rule to follow, really. It is crucial to remember that key portions of the maintenance regimen are technical. And these should be left to the professionals. If the issue requires technical expertise, call someone who knows how to deal with it.

Tinkering with things you’re not even sure how to begin with won’t just lead to more problems but an even bigger bill.

#10: Your refrigerant levels may already be very low. 

refrigerant air conditioner leaking water

Your AC unit uses a chemical called a refrigerant. It helps in trapping heat from the surroundings and transforming the same into cool air through a series of processes. Your air conditioner needs to have ideal levels of this chemical to function optimally and prevent leaks.

The most widely used types of refrigerants for residential air conditioners these days are the R410A and a form of freon gas called R-22. 

See, when your AC unit is low on refrigerant, it causes the evaporator coil to become frozen. The evaporator coil thaws, and the whole thing becomes an instant pool before you know it.

Things to Keep in Mind:

It is very important to always check if your unit has a sufficient supply of refrigerant to prevent this from happening. Moreover, it is also possible that the refrigerant may be leaking inside your AC unit.

Wayward refrigerant can cause a lot of damage. Refrigerant leaks are usually signified by a low gurgling sound when the machine is up and running. Catching these leaks before they become a major problem is crucial.

Reasons Why Refrigerant Leaks are Very Dangerous

While we’re on the subject of refrigerant leaks, these things could also eventually make you prone to many health problems. These include coughing, eye irritation, skin rashes, nausea, headaches, and even breathing difficulties if left unattended. 

Moreover, severe refrigerant poisoning can also lead to irregular heartbeat, decreased mental function, esophageal irritation, and fluid accumulation in the lungs. There have already been reports of deaths due to prolonged exposure to refrigerants.

The Final Word

Some of these issues will require the help of a professional. You can use your DIY skills on others. Don’t hesitate to call an expert as soon as you can to avoid making the problem even worse.