It's hot outside. But you have the A/C running and the ceiling fan wafting cool air over you. Then you walk outside to get the mail. And you notice water puddling under your A/C condenser. Oh no. Should you be worried? It depends. Normal condensation is okay. But what are the signs of an A/C leak? Get the facts with this helpful overview.
Basic A/C Operation
Air conditioners use refrigerants and fans to cool the air in your home. Your A/C system pulls in hot air. It moves over your system's evaporator coils. Liquid refrigerant changes to gas as it draws in the hot air. The compressor and a fan expel the heat outside. Finally, the condenser transforms the gas back to cool liquid. The liquid refrigerant flows back into the home, and the process repeats. This cycle cools the air indoors.
In humid conditions, your A/C also works as a dehumidifier. It draws water vapor from the air as it passes over the evaporator coils. This is responsible for most of the condensation that drains out of your unit's outdoor condenser. An overflow pan in the condenser should catch most A/C condensation, and the water is then drained away. But faulty operation or equipment can cause leaks that alert you of a problem.
Signs of a Leaking Air Conditioner
Often, homeowners don't realize their unit is leaking, or they assume it's normal condensation. But some common air conditioning leak symptoms can help you recognize when you have a leaky A/C unit that requires professional service. These include:
- Water dripping from indoor A/C vents
- Reduced cooling power
- Vents blowing warm air
- Hissing or gurgling noises in the unit
Common A/C Leak Issues
Your unit may leak inside or outside your home. Both situations should be addressed. But indoor A/C leaks can cause extensive damage to your home, highlighting the need for fast action. It's also important to repair your A/C unit quickly to reduce the chance you'll require more expensive repairs or a unit replacement.
The following defects are responsible for indoor and outdoor A/C leaks:
- Faulty condensate pumps can't expel water, causing drips and leaks.
- Clogged condenser drain lines prevent water from draining.
- Damaged drip pans leak or overflow.
- Frozen evaporator coils are usually a sign of low refrigerant. This may be due to a refrigerant leak.
- Clogged air filters block airflow. This disturbs the refrigerant cycle and can cause your condenser coil to freeze. Your A/C drips water when they thaw.
Call in a pro for these serious problems. An HVAC tech has the experience and knowledge to safely troubleshoot your issue.
Leaking A/Cs are responsible for most cooling-related service calls. Fortunately, they're usually an easy fix for a professional. One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Southeast Pennsylvania technicians are available 24/7 to troubleshoot your cooling system issues. Call us if you notice a worrying AC leak in your home or a reduction in your unit's efficiency.