Leaking air conditioner systems are quite common and can be fixed with with a little DIY advice. Ignoring the problem however can cause serious problems that will require the services of a professional technician.
There are three main reasons why your A/C might be leaking water: cracked drain pan, clogged condensate drain, or clogged air filter.
How to Fix a Leaking Air Conditioner
Let’s start with the easiest fix first:
Clogged Air Filter
Simply change your air filter. It is recommended that you check and/or change your HVAC air filter every 30 days, especially during peak usage in the summer and winter. Most filters need to be changed every 30-60 days, however, investing in a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arrestance) filter will catch the smallest of particles in your air and last for 1-2 years as long as you use a prefilter. Call Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning for an air filtration consultation.
A dirty air filter could cause your evaporator coils to freeze up and when it thaws, you will notice leaking water. A dirty air filter can also prevent your air conditioner from turning on, so for most air conditioner problems, check the filter first!
Cracked Overflow Pan
This is the second-easiest fix. All you have to do is find and inspect your overflow drain pan for damage. Grab a flashlight and head over to your indoor air handling unit (usually in the attic or basement).
With the unit off, check your drain line and drain pan for cracks, holes, and leaks. Your drain pan catches condensate from your evaporator coil and is located directly underneath it. Normally, there is a pipe that runs from the drain pan to the outside. You’ll want to check the condensate drain pan and lines for damage.
Although you can fix cracks in your drain pan with epoxy glue, it is recommended that you replace the drain pan entirely. If your drain pan is full and overflowing, use a wet/dry vac to suck it up and dispose of it. Then, clean out any sludge residue. Cleaning your drain pan periodically will help prevent clogged drain lines and mold spores from spreading.
Clogged Condensate Drain Line
While you may have fixed your problem by changing the air filter or fixing a leak in your drain pipe or pan, you most likely have a clogged condensate drainpipe.
When your condensate line is backed up with mold and other debris, your job gets a little harder. In fact, some A/C systems auto-detect a clogged drain line and shuts itself off until the clog is cleared.
You can try cleaning out the drainpipe from the inside of your home by removing the PVC cap and using a long, strong wire brush to get rid of the clog. Then, pour about a cup of liquid chlorine bleach down the line, being careful to to get any on your hands or clothes. This should get rid of most of the mold, algae, and mildew that could be clogging your line.
Watch this video to learn how to unclog your air conditioning condensate drainpipe:
If you don’t own a wet/dry vac, you can purchase the Mighty Pump on Amazon for $72.
Once the clog is clear, put everything back together again and turn your A/C back on. In order to avoid leaking air conditioner problems in the future and expensive repairs, clear out your a/c condensate drain line every 4-6 years.
How to Prevent Clogs in the Condensate Drain Line
If you want to prevent clogs from forming in your condensate drain line, there is a neat trick you can do to reduce the amount of algae, mold, and mildew that builds up.
Every 6-12 months, pour a cup of bleach down the condensation drain line connected to your air conditioner. It’s as simple as that!
If none of these solutions solved your leaking air conditioner problem, give Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 405-794-8900. We’d be happy to answer all of your questions!
Looking to save even more money and energy with your HVAC system?
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