Nowadays, homeowners are quick to troubleshoot a problem themselves without asking for professional help. And there’s nothing wrong with this unless there’s some danger for you and your appliances.
Excessive water produced by your aircon can is a prime example that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Even though the reason for this may be quite harmless, the condensed water vapor coming from your air conditioner and soaking up inside your home can become a vehicle to harmful bacteria.
For this reason, it’s important to determine the cause of the water coming out of your aircon so you can fix it.
The Myth of Aircon Water Leaks
Before homeowners become confident when inspecting their aircon units, there’s some basic knowledge that has to be learned first.
There’s a common understanding that if your air conditioner is dripping water, that’s a water leak. On the contrary, this is far from being a leak and here’s why:
Most aircon units are designed to regulate both the humidity and the temperature in the given living space. Typically, there’s no water in the aircon system.
The air inside already has a certain amount of humidity, i.e. water vapor. As the temperature of the air is reduced, so does its ability to hold the water vapor.
The water that you see “leaking” is actually a result of the condensation of the water vapor, turning it into small water droplets. It’s usually drained out through a drainpipe but if this pipe is faulty or blocked, the water starts accumulating in the inner unit, thus flowing and “leaking” out.
Helpful read: Common Aircon Problems and How To Fix Them
Of course, this issue must be checked by a qualified aircon technician. Here are some other reasons why there’s water coming out of your aircon:
Clogged Drainage Pipe
As already mentioned, one of the main reasons why your inside unit can start “leaking” water is because your machine’s drainage pipe is clogged. Over time, this pipe accumulates dust and dirt, and consequently, mold. This prevents water from coming out. As a result, it starts backing up into your home.
To deal with this inconvenience, you have to unclog the drain line to make way for the water to drain out. When it comes down to cleaning the drainage pipe, it’s best to call a professional aircon technician to do it for you. Certified technicians have special vacuum cleaners that typically clear the issue in no time.
Helpful read: Professional Vs DIY Aircon Servicing
Damaged Drain Pan
If the problem isn’t in the drainage pan, then it might be a good idea to check the drain pan. Usually, older aircon units become rusty with time and this can damage some vulnerable parts, especially those that come in direct contact with water. If your drain pan is damaged or rusty, replacing it will solve the issue.
Faulty Condensate Pump
If your air conditioner has an indoor unit or you’re using a high-efficiency furnace, then you might as well have an aircon condensate pump installed too. The condensate pump’s purpose is to pump out the vapor and any other condensate that is accumulated while your system is running.
But if it breaks down, this can cause you a lot of problems as eventually, the water can start directly spilling on the floor. In such cases, you must call a technician to identify the problem and replace the pump if the issue persists.
Dirty Air Filter
This is yet another typical cause for aircon water “leaks”. Air filters play a simple but major role in the proper functioning of the aircon unit. Poor maintenance may make them dirty, eventually blocking the airflow over the condenser coil. And this is where things can go wrong. Impeded airflow can cause the coil to get cold and, over time, freeze.
After a while, the newly-created ice deposit will start melting, transforming into an excessive amount of water that the drain pan is usually unable to handle. For this reason, you should take proper care of your air filters and replace or wash them once a month.
Helpful read: Effect of Dirt In Your Aircon System
Low Refrigerant Level
Having a similar outcome, the first signs of low refrigerant level in your aircon are when your conditioner starts blowing warm air. This indicates that there’s not enough coolant in your system to take out the warm air and blow the cold air into your home.
Such cases require immediate action because leaving your aircon without adequate refrigerant gas will increase the workload on your system and expose it to breakdowns. To deal with the issue, you should call a professional aircon servicing company to carry out a gas top-up.
Surprisingly, this might also be one of the causes of water “leakage”. If you’ve recently bought your aircon and it’s already spilling water inside your home, chances are high that the installation service hasn’t been carried out the way it should have.
Typically, mistakes can be made by installing the drainage pan or drainage pipe improperly. If the technician hasn’t put the air conditioner to level, this might also be the reason. Of course, the fault might be in you, especially if you skipped the part where you should properly size your aircon to your room size.
One thing is sure – you should never ever rely on sketchy aircon companies without any credentials. Always make sure the aircon company (like us!) you’re about to hire has the required license to perform the aircon installation for you.
If your air conditioner starts “leaking” right near the end of the summer, the cause can be as simple as the unit running while it’s too cold outside.
If you set your aircon to “COOL” and it’s under 16 degrees Celsius outside, the normal reaction of your appliance’s coils is to freeze up. Ultimately, this will cause the unit to “leak” water.
If you notice water dripping out of your aircon, don’t be quick to panic. Because the causes can vary, it’s important to have some basic knowledge about where it can come from.
Condensation is not the only reason and things can sometimes turn serious, especially if your aircon compressor is working extra hard lately or you’ve had a spike in your electricity bill recently.
Whether it’s because of misjudged temperature settings or improper installation, the key to preventing such issues is regular maintenance. Of course, you can always change the air filter yourself, but some procedures should be carried only by qualified and well-trained professionals. Dealing with refrigerant gas is a prime example and if you’re not knowledgeable in the field, don’t try gas top up using the DIY method.