A leaking air conditioner almost always indicates a mechanical problem that’s normally associated with lack of maintenance. Air conditioners produce condensation as a byproduct of cooling, but when dirt or debris interfere with its production or drainage, leaking or flooding may occur inside and outside of the air handler.
A/C Drainage Problems
Over time, the drain pan and drainpipe for the A/C can clog from dirt, dust, mold and even yard debris. Check the pan at the base of the air handler and remove any debris. Outdoors, remove any blockage. You may need an HVAC contractor to clear a completely clogged drainpipe. They use special chemicals and snakes to clear the line.
Frozen Evaporator Coil
You’ll probably know when your evaporator coil has frozen before you notice the leaking air conditioner. When the coil freezes over, cooling stops even though the system may continue to run. Reduced airflow is the primary cause of a frozen coil, cause by excessive dirt.
- A dirty air filter reduces the airflow over the coil and slows the heat transfer from your home’s air to the refrigerant. Check its condition and replace if necessary.
- If the air filter is clean, the coil is probably dirty. Over time, dust can collect on the coil, especially if your system hasn’t been professionally maintained. Running it without an air filter or with an overly dirty one will deposit dust over the coil, or the coil may be covered with mold.
An HVAC technician can clean the coil and routine air filter changes will prevent dust from building on the evaporator coil. If mold is present, have your HVAC contractor install UV (ultraviolet) lights that shine on the coil to prevent biological growths.
Low refrigerant can also cause a frozen evaporator coil, a condition only a licensed HVAC technician can diagnose and solve. If none of the other mechanical problems exist with your system, call your contractor for a system check.
Prevention is the best way to avoid a leaking air conditioner. If you’d like to learn more, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions, providing top-notch HVAC services for Orlando-area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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