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air conditioner condensate problems
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Coming across air conditioner condensation problems is relatively normal. Regardless, it can be extremely bothersome to have to deal with it. As we all know, AC units work by extracting humidity from indoor air to make it cool. It is why air conditioners produce gallons of condensate daily. And for this exact reason, you can see why the drainage system is bound to act up occasionally.

Air conditioner condensation problems are often associated with evaporator coil freezing or leaks in the condensate. But how can we tell which is which?

To help you avoid nonessential expenses and further inconvenience, we listed down some of the most common AC issues that might occur. Worry not, because this will help you figure out what the pestering AC issue’s root cause is!

1. Clogged Air Filter

Oh, the multitude of horrors that a clogged air filter can bring! If we are sure of one thing, dirt and grime build-up won’t do any good for your AC. When air filters have a blockage, this can lead to air conditioner condensation problems. 

Ducts collapse whenever air filters get significantly obstructed with debris. As a result, evaporator coils will be plunged with dust as the filter isn’t functioning normally. Once this occurs, the evaporator coil will then start to ice. Once that ice thaws, it will directly affect the evaporator condensation pan, leading to a leak on the outside of the unit. 

This scenario stresses the importance of cleaning your air filters regularly and replacing them. It does not only help you alleviate allergens or pathogens circulating in your home; it also enables you to maintain the overall health of your AC.

2. Condensation Pan problems

Another reason you might have air conditioner condensation problems is the condensation pan. 

The function of the condensation pan is to collect the water from the evaporator during condensation. After doing so, it sends it to an external drain. But like most AC parts, the condensation pan also wears over time. It can begin to have cracks in which water can seep in and spill. The water that spills runs through the unit, therefore causing damage. Experts recommend having a secondary condensation pan just in case the primary one overflows or is problematic. 

Additionally, condensation drain pans can also have foreign obstructions. Algae, potting soil, or mulch can plug these lines and clog them.

It is imperative to have this issue addressed as soon as possible because it will not only damage the unit – it can also affect your home. If the drip builds up, it can cause deterioration in areas where water runs. Usual fixes include having the air handling unit replaced. It is usually the case when it is old enough to have an extremely rusted condensation pan.

3. Drain Pan Not Accurately Sloped

Checked your drain pan and saw it isn’t correctly inclined? Seeing a different or changed level of elevation? Well, there, you just figured out why you are experiencing air conditioner condensation problems!

The evaporator drain pan must be properly sloping towards the drain. It must be in such a position because appropriate sloping will allow the water to flow easily. Otherwise, it will not drain from the pan smoothly. Sloping also applies to the condensation drain piping to ensure a proper flow. 

Your first step must always be to evaluate the position of elevation of the air handler. Is it lower than the drain line? Has it changed position recently that affected its level? If this is the case, you will have to adjust it to be higher than the drain line. You must ensure that the line must have a downslope from the air handler for it to drain correctly. 

4. Worn-off Insulation

AC units have so-called Rubatex pipe insulation. This black insulator covers the copper pipes for the air conditioner. And they can also be a factor why you have air conditioner condensation problems.

Once the insulator has a tear, it will no longer provide full coverage. Meaning to say, it won’t be covering the entire suction line. Copper pipes need to operate below the dew point. These pipes must have a vapor barrier as a sealant for more effective insulation, especially for all metal ductwork. If you don’t have them properly insulated, they can “sweat.” Water will then leak from these sweating copper pipes into the unit if this happens. 

Moisture that drips into insulation also degrades its effectivity. It emphasizes the importance of addressing any other leak that might allow water to drip in there. Aside from saving the well-being of the insulator, you also protect yourself from further issues.

5. Running Low on Refrigerant

It’s no surprise that low refrigerant levels might also significantly contribute to the air conditioner condensation problems you have. Refrigerants act as an absorber of the indoor air’s heat. It generates cool air after processing it through evaporators and compressors.

In a similar sense, as a dirty air filter does, low refrigerant levels cause the pressure in the AC system to lower. When the pressure becomes significantly below average, it causes the evaporator coils to freeze. And I’m sure you can guess what happens next – ice thaws, water overflows.

Fortunately, there are warning signs that might help you know you’re running low on refrigerant. An AC not properly cooling your home or a bubbling noise can indicate that refrigerant is leaking. It might be fleeing somewhere that causes the gas levels reduction within the AC unit. 

Refrigerants can have a profound impact on your health, so you mustn’t handle the issue yourself. There’s no harm in calling your trusted technician to perform the diagnosis and provide you with the best solution. Depending on the assessment of your local HVAC professional, you will need to either repair the leak or replace your unit as a whole. 

As a Conclusion

Air conditioner condensation problems should be dealt with seriously. Whatever their cause might be, one mustn’t ignore it. Most of the time, these root issues do not only bring about a leaking AC unit – they also are contributors to more significant AC issues. So save yourself the time and hassle of buying a brand new unit if you can prevent the problem right away. Contact a professional HVAC technician instantly to ensure your AC unit is in tiptop shape! 

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