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Why Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

Kristian Dasik, HVAC Service Manager
With over 4 years of experience in HVAC and customer service and project management, Kristian is committed to matching up the right technicians to each customer. With his keen eye for detail, Kristian overlooks every job to make sure each service is up to our standard. outside of work, you can find Kristian hiking and bushwalking all over NSW. While he’s indoors, you can find him supporting his favourite NRL team that shall not be named.

Importance of air conditioner maintenance before summer

Did you know that summer is the primary period for leaking air-conditioning systems? During this time, call-out requests for breakdowns or ceiling damage due to air-conditioning water leaks are at their most frequent. Summer can be a real test, not only of your system’s performance but on how well it has been maintained over the past year.

The good news is that water leaks can very easily be prevented!

What to do if your air conditioner is leaking water

There are some things you only think about during certain times of the year. When was the last time you thought about whether you were wearing sunblock in the middle of winter? Conversely, when was the last time you thought about having a cup of hot chocolate during one of Sydney’s summer heat waves?

You probably don’t tend to do either of those things all that often, do you? And, I’m just guessing here, but you also probably don’t think about your aircon much during the middle of winter or spring — if all is going well, that is. I guess that’s why we get a panicked phone call from time to time from folks who want to know what to do about their air-conditioning leaking water in summer.

So, that’s what I’d like to talk about here today: what to do if you’re one of those folks who notice that their air con is sweating buckets — just like you — in this extreme heat.

The first thing to do

The first thing you should do if you notice a pool of moisture around your aircon is to clean it up. While that may seem obvious, you’d be surprised to know how often this gets ignored or forgotten about, especially amid the emotional tizzy that folks can sometimes have in response to a water leak. It’s only a matter of time before that pool of water starts to smell musty, cause damage to your floor, or start to grow mould—and it’s a bit of a safety hazard. Slip ’N Slides are for outside, so mop up that indoor puddle as soon as you notice it.

Why is your aircon leaking during summer?

Now that you’ve mopped up the mess, let’s get into what caused it in the first place.

Your AC produces a whole lot of water in the form of condensation, especially during the hot summer months. You may indeed hear a faint dripping from time to time, which is normal. The water will drip into the drain line and then be channeled into the outdoor drain. If something isn’t working properly, though, water can leak out from the indoor unit and make it appear that something is going wrong with your aircon.

Here are a few of the reasons why you may see water in the summer months:

  1. The drain is clogged: A blocked drain is probably the most common reason for aircon leaks during the summer months. With constant use over time, the system’s drain may start to collect dirt and dust, preventing the flow of condensation from passing through properly. If you haven’t had your aircon serviced lately, this is likely the problem. A professional technician will be able to rule it out. They’ve got the tools to be able to access the drain and confirm if there’s a clog or not.
  2. Your drain pan is full: Just below the evaporator coil in your air conditioner is a drain pan that catches the condensation coming off the coil. If you’ve got an old unit, your drain pan might be rusted or damaged, which could mean that the water is running right through it and dripping onto the floor instead of into the drain pipe. If this is the case, you’ll need a pro to replace your drain pan with a shiny new one.
  3. Your air filter is dirty: A clean filter is essential to a smoothly running machine. If your air filter is dirty, ice will form on the evaporator coils. This ice eventually melts and the resultant excess water can cause the drain pan to overflow. If you haven’t had your air filter changed in the last few months, this could be the problem behind the puddle.
  4. The condensate pump is faultyFor those of you who have your AC installed in your basement or area where it’s difficult to run an external drain line, then you have a condensate pump that works hard to push all of the accumulated moisture outside. If there’s something wrong with the pump, water doesn’t make it outside and instead accumulates on the floor. If this is the case, a pro will be able to refurbish/flush or replace your pump so that you won’t have any more leakage.

This is not a summer DIY: call a pro to fix your furnace leak!

Unless you’re an air-conditioning expert, it’s next to impossible to know which one of these problems is causing a system to leak. Regardless of the reason, a leaking air-conditioner is always cause for concern and could be a sign of something seriously wrong with your system. That’s why I’d recommend calling in the aircon pros, like the friendly folks at Alliance, so that they can diagnose and fix the problem as quickly as possible.

While you have the pros at your place, it’s also a good idea to have them perform air conditioning maintenance. Not only can regular maintenance prevent problems with your system, but it also keeps your furnace and air conditioner spick and span, and running as efficiently as possible.

Maintenance checks and tune-ups can increase the lifespan of your system. That means you won’t have to worry about forking out the cash for a new one every ten years. Remember, if you do experience a leak this summer, don’t sweat it. Just keep in mind that the sooner you call a pro, the sooner you can go back to enjoying your peaceful, cool home. If you leave it too long, though, bigger issues could develop with your unit and you could be without an air conditioner. And in this Sydney summer heat, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

Our trained Aircon professionals would love to help you keep your Air conditioning running smoothly all summer long by scheduling regular Maintenance Tune-up.

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