Why Is My AC Unit Leaking?

Some people don’t like to sweat. For them, there’s nothing better on a hot summer day than staying inside, away from the heat, and enjoying the comfort provided by their air conditioner. Nothing disrupts that comfort quite like a leaky AC unit. A puddle around your indoor unit or dripping from outside can be alarming, but don’t lose your cool just yet! Several reasons could explain the leak, and some might be easier to address than others. As experts with over six decades of experience in air conditioning issues, A-1 Heating, Air Conditioning & Electric has seen it all. We’re here to share some of the causes we’ve experienced for leaking air conditioners. 

Understanding Your AC Unit’s Plumbing

Before diving into specific causes, let’s understand the basic plumbing involved in your AC system. As your air conditioner runs, it also removes moisture from the air. This condensation accumulates and needs to drain away. Your AC unit accomplishes this through a condensate drain pan and drain line. The drain pan catches the condensation, and the drain line channels it away from your home, typically to a drainpipe or external location.

Detecting the Leak Source: Indoor vs. Outdoor

The location of the leak can offer some clues about the culprit.

  • Indoor Unit Leak: If the water is dripping from your indoor unit or pooling around it, the issue likely lies with the condensate drain system.
  • Outdoor Unit Leak: A leak around the outdoor unit is less common but could indicate a problem with the refrigerant line or condensation drainage.

Common Culprits Behind AC Leaks

Now that we understand the plumbing and leak locations, let’s explore some common reasons why your AC might be leaking:

  • Clogged Drain Line: The most common culprit behind a leaking indoor unit is a clogged condensate drain line. Dust, dirt, algae, or mold buildup can restrict the flow of condensation, causing it to back up and overflow the drain pan.
  • Full Drain Pan: Even if the drain line isn’t completely clogged, a full drain pan can overflow during periods of high humidity or heavy usage.
  • Dirty Air Filter: A clogged air filter can restrict airflow over the evaporator coil, causing it to become too cold and freeze. As the ice melts, it can overflow the drain pan and lead to a leak.
  • Damaged Drain Pan or Line: Cracks or holes in the drain pan or drain line can also cause leaks.
  • Low Refrigerant Levels: In some cases, low refrigerant levels can lead to ice buildup on the evaporator coil, potentially causing a leak as the ice melts.

DIY Solutions vs. Calling in a Professional

Some AC leaks, like those caused by a full drain pan or a dirty air filter, might be easy enough to address yourself. However, for issues like clogged drain lines, damaged drain pans, or low refrigerant levels, it’s always best to call in a qualified HVAC technician. We have the tools and expertise to diagnose the problem accurately and make the necessary repairs to get your AC unit functioning properly and leak-free.

Keeping Your Cool with A-1 Heating, Air Conditioning & Electric

Here at A-1 Heating, Air Conditioning & Electric, we understand the importance of a comfortable home, especially during an Idaho summer. Our friendly and certified technicians can diagnose and repair all types of AC leaks, ensuring your system functions efficiently and keeps your home temperate and dry.

Don’t let a leak turn your haven into a drippy mess! Contact A-1 Heating, Air Conditioning & Electric in Meridian, ID today. We offer AC maintenance to avoid unexpected breakdowns, as well as 24/7 emergency repair service and flexible scheduling options to get your AC leak fixed quickly. We proudly serve Meridian and the surrounding areas. Let’s keep your summer comfortable!