“My air conditioner is dripping” — so, what now???
If your air conditioner is dripping fluids, don’t panic. There are a handful of common issues that can lead to a drippy AC. As long as you take the right steps to correct the cause of the leak, all should be fine. However, if you wait too long to fix your dripping air conditioner, other, more serious issues can start to develop. In a worst case scenario, a leaky air conditioner can damage and destroy floors, walls, and ceilings and not to mention, your AC system as a whole.
This being said, if your AC is dripping, turn it off and contact a licensed HVAC professional as soon as you can. In the meantime, let’s discuss a few different reasons you might be experiencing a leaking AC.
The evaporator coils are frozen.
Frozen evaporator coils can be caused by different issues, such as a broken motor or dirty coils. However, the main issue at play here is restricted air flow, which can lead to the formation of ice and dripping water.
If this is the case with your AC, you should get to work immediately. You may be able to correct this issue on your own by replacing the air filter and removing and cleaning any dirt or debris. But, if you aren’t familiar with ACs (and especially if you’re dealing with a commercial building or office AC), then we recommend contacting an HVAC company. This is especially true if one of your issues also happens to be low refrigerant or a broken motor.
Failing to correct frozen coils can result in compressor issues and no cool air coming from your AC.
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The drain pan is cracked.
If your drain pan is cracked, this could be a relatively simple issue to fix (at least temporarily). You’ll want to check both the pan and pipe connected to the pan for any leaks. If you notice any, you can use a sealant to patch it up. However, upon doing so, you’ll still want to contact an HVAC company to have the pan fully replaced. This is necessary if this is the drain pan that is located underneath your coils (there are two pans). This pan is permanently affixed to your system and will need to be professionally removed.
Your drain is clogged.
As we mentioned earlier, your evaporator coils can become frozen because of dirt and debris — causing your AC to drip in the process. But keep in mind, a dirty, clogged drain line can cause leaks in general. Cleaning your AC should hopefully be part of routine HVAC maintenance, but it can be difficult to handle on your own if you don’t have the right tools and experience.
If you’re at all concerned about cleaning your AC, contact a professional and rely on them to thoroughly clean up your system and remove all dirt, algae, and other debris.
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Your filter is dirty.
Replacing your air filter on a regular basis can easily slip your mind — but this slip of the mind can definitely cause issues for your AC later down the line (including leaking water). While this can go back to the frozen coils mentioned earlier, it can also impact and damage other equipment within your system.
Make sure you’re replacing your filter on a monthly basis or you’re working with an HVAC company that provides this service as part of their proactive maintenance program.