Every once in a while, you might have noticed your air conditioner leaking water outside. It might stir your curiosity, but should you be anxious?
Miniscule puddles of water under the outdoor unit of your air conditioner are relatively a usual thing. You can observe this happening from time to time. A tiny amount is not necessarily something that should worry you. However, it is essential to note that it may indicate that your unit has an issue that would need professional help.
So, up to what extent is a leak considered normal? How would you know that it’s now an emergency? And above all, what could be behind why you have an air conditioner leaking water outside?
Read further to find out why this is happening and its possible cause.
How Much would Mean “Too Much”?
Before you go full-on panic mode upon seeing your air conditioner leaking water outside, you might want first to take a deep breath and calm down. The amount of water that spills is the first thing you should look into before anything else.
Knowledge of “how much” is “too much” water would be your crucial determiner. But before you look into it, you must consider some things first. You see, the amount of condensation produced from your air conditioning unit is dependent on two variables. The first factor is the outdoor temperature, and the second one is the thermostat setting.
For example, your home is within a place with a scalding temperature. Your AC will have to work harder since the temperature is high. As a result, expect a tiny amount of water to leak near the drainpipe. Especially on days when the temperature is hot or humid, you can expect a puddle underneath your air conditioning unit’s condenser. Worry not because that is part of its regular operation. It is considered typical for an air conditioner working hard to have this.
However, keep an eye out for the leak. If it continues to persist and you observe it is becoming more than a small puddle, it might be time to call a professional.
What could be behind this?
After observation, you noticed that the water spilling from your air conditioning unit is way beyond normal. What could be the reason? There are a few possible factors why you might have an air conditioner leaking water outside. You must look into these facets to rule out the culprit and move forward with repairs.
- Dirty air filters
As always, dirty air filters bring no good to your AC unit. When you have a partially obstructed or thoroughly clogged air filter, it is more likely that your evaporator coils will freeze. When these coils ice and thaw, it can cause excess water. This water, in turn, moves over to the drain pan and causes overspill. Hence, you can expect your air conditioner leaking water outside.
Is your air conditioning unit just recently purchased, yet it leaks a lot? That would be bothersome as you might think you have a defective unit. However, chances are there are possible issues with the installation. The wrong size and incorrect installment of the drainage pan could trigger you to have an air conditioner leaking water outside. Ensure that your AC unit is installed only by a professional to avoid this trouble.
- Problematic condensate pan
Most air conditioning units have metal condensate pans. Over time, these pans may wear and tear. A common factor might be the age of your air conditioner. Rust also becomes a contributor to the issue. As pans are mostly metal, rust causes cracks and splits. If there are cracks on the condensate pan, it can lead to your air conditioner leaking water outside.
Low refrigerant levels
Refrigerants are gases in your air conditioner. Their primary function is to rid the indoor air of heat and transform it into cooler air. If their levels are lower than usual, pressure in your air conditioning system will also drop. Once this happens, the evaporator coil will freeze. Once those coils freeze, it might lead to your air conditioner leaking water outside.
- Obstructed drainpipe
The drainpipe is where the water on your air conditioning unit travels as it makes its way to the drain pan. In the event that this complex system of pipes is clogged or blocked, it could trigger the scenario of your air conditioner leaking water outside.
As seasons get colder, it’s possible to have an air conditioner leaking water outside. I know it sounds odd, but colder temperatures also give your air conditioning unit a hard time. When your AC is running when the temperature is too low out, you can expect leaks to happen. The coils could freeze because your unit attempts to cool your home within a low-temperature environment. As a result, it will produce water that can spill over.
How Do I Prevent My AC From Leaking Water In The Future?
As it is always said, prevention is better than cure. I’m sure everyone can agree to that, especially when maintaining your air conditioning system.
When dealing with proper maintenance and care, your top-notch priority is to replace those air filters. Air filters must undergo cleaning regularly. If you have old ones, swap them out with new filters. You don’t only save your AC from further issues, but you also spare yourself stuck allergens!
We cannot stress the importance of a regular maintenance check for your air conditioning system. Experts recommend having a routine inspection before the summer season starts, which is very strenuous for the AC system. When a professional performs, you are sure that your unit is in good hands. You can also ask them for advice on handling and appropriately caring for your air conditioning unit to prolong its lifespan.
Your trusted local HVAC professional will check for any possible issues that might cause you to have an air conditioner leaking water outside. Not only do they diagnose the problem, but they also fix it right away to avoid complications with other parts. It will give you the peace of mind you need — away from the sudden spike in energy bills and extra bucks!