All air conditioners create some condensation in the process of providing cool air and usually, this condensate, collected in a drain tray, is drained harmlessly away outside.
Normally, condensation forms at the finned cooling coil often located in the ceiling or in a wall-mounted unit and run outside through a drain system.
However, an absence of condensate at the outside drain while your air conditioner system is operating may be a sign of another problem and merits further investigation.
A “normal” amount of water leaking from the drain of your air conditioner depends on several factors, often affected by humidity, outside temperature or the temperature selected on the thermostat etc.
During normal operation of your air conditioner system, some water leaking from the drain tube outside is perfectly normal, drying up rapidly after the unit switches off.
However, if water is leaking from the air outlet grille or any other part of your air conditioner unit inside, or even dripping on furnishings, this is not usual.
That’s the time to call an Alliance Climate Control technician.
During normal operation, the finned coil remains moist and easily collects particles of airborne dust. If this dust builds up for long enough, the finned coil may become clogged, stopping airflow and eventually becoming “iced over”. Consequently, a lack of condensate and an abnormal level of cooling is evident.
If more condensate than normal begins to flow after the unit is switched off, this is an indication of a blocked finned coil and a more serious problem.
Another reason to investigate a lack of condensate outside is if the drain system is not operating correctly. This can occur if the drain tray is blocked, eventually overflowing inside or it could be even be cracked or leaking, in which case the damage may have already started but not yet evident.
If refrigerant gas levels are too low, this means both the finned coil and condenser coil will be unable to produce the anticipated cooling effect. This may also cause the compressor to operate with longer cycles causing the finned coil to eventually “ice over”. A reduced cooling effect in the room being cooled and less condensate is a tell-tale sign of a more serious problem.
If your air conditioner unit has been recently installed but produces more condensate than expected or cycles in and out too frequently, it may be undersized for the room being cooled. The extra load on the compressor and other components of the system may be the cause of future and costly repairs.