Why Is My AC Leaking?
  • Posted on July 29, 2022
  • By Rod Miller

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of walking into your home after a long day in the heat, only to be greeted by a puddle of water. If you’re wondering why your AC is leaking, you’re not alone. AC leaking is one of the most common problems that homeowners face during the summer months.

If this hasn’t happened to your unit before, it most likely will at some point. With the record-breaking heat waves passing through lately, keeping on top of AC maintenance is more important than ever.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to learn about identifying and preventing these annoying issues. An AC leak can come in several forms including water, refrigerant, and air. Condensation forming on your ducts can also happen during the warm months. 

Follow our guide on these different types of AC leaking and how to handle them.

Water leaks

Water is one of the most prevalent types of AC leaking because it can happen for many different reasons. Humidity is a factor, as well as the condition and age of your unit. Property damage like damaged floors and furniture is a typical result of the water collection.

Your air conditioner pulls moisture from the air. That humidity condenses on your evaporator coil, runs down the fins of the coil into a collection tray, and out your drain that routs the water to an indoor floor drain or an outside drainage pipe.

If any part of that process is blocked or damaged, your air conditioner will leak, usually exactly where you don’t want it to spread. Trays overflow and drain lines get blocked from debris build-up.

These issues usually stem from poor unit maintenance or from old equipment.

What’s the best way to prevent water leaks?

While some water collection may be inevitable, there are a couple of proactive steps you can take to lessen damage and leak frequency.

  1. Add multiple water safeties. At Rod Miller Inc., we always install and recommend water safeties that monitor water flow and levels. Most units have at least two water safeties installed in case one fails.
  2. Make sure to perform regular maintenance on your unit and its drains. This includes replacing air filters and clearing debris from around the AC. Doing this will help reduce the risk of AC leaks in the future.
  3. Check the AC unit regularly for leaks. If you see anything suspicious, it’s best to call a professional AC repair company immediately. This tip can be tricky if many of your unit parts are hidden behind walls or plant life. Those hard-to-find pieces may also be a sign to call in an expert.
  4. Try a DIY unclogging method if you notice buildup or a leak starting to drip. Mixing an equal part solution of bleach and water can help break down any clogs or buildups in the AC drain line, preventing leaks from forming. Leave the solution in the line for 10 to 15 minutes, and then flush it completely out with water.

Pro tip: Consider checking up on your gutters and backup gutter, which could be why your air conditioner is watering your home like an indoor garden.

By following these simple tips, you can help stave off easily preventable water leaks.

As always, some water leaks are due to equipment failure and are difficult to prevent. Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or repairs and replacement needs.

Refrigerant leaks

The second type of leak we’ll explain is refrigerant leaks. These are a little less common and can present more problems than damp carpets.

But first, here’s some background.

In all AC systems, the refrigerant in the unit is used to remove heat from the air that passes through it. In a perfect world, your air conditioner’s unit would not leak, and you would never need to refill your refrigerant.

That’s because the amount of refrigerant in your AC unit does not fluctuate over time and will not need to be “topped up” or replaced.

Refrigerants can be particularly unpleasant for several reasons.

A leak can damage your AC unit and lead to increased energy consumption, which can increase your energy bill. Refrigerants can damage the atmosphere’s ozone layer because its often chlorofluorocarbon-based refrigerant. This is especially prevalent in the now banned R-22 refrigerant.

Sadly, corrosion on coils and equipment failure can happen, and these leaks should be addressed as soon as possible.

Locating these leaks can be tricky, but here are the signs to look for from your unit and around your home.

  • Less-effective cooling
  • Ice buildup on evaporator coils
  • Higher than normal levels of indoor humidity
  • Puddle of liquid or signs of moisture near the unit
  • Bubbling sounds from your AC unit
  • Increase in energy bills
  • Longer cooling cycles

Warning: Please do not attempt to refill and handle refrigerant on your own. Call a licensed HVAC professional to help you refill your refrigerant or repair your unit.

Air leaks

These leaks are less common but just as annoying. Air can come from holes or cracks in your ductwork.

This type of leak prevents your AC unit from cooling your home efficiently and can cause more breakage in other parts of your unit. You can repair small holes using professional-grade aluminum tape you find at your local hardware store.

For more extensive damage, to your ducts, you’ll most likely need replacements and professional assistance.

Sweaty Ducts

A sweaty duct is like when your soda is left outside on a hot and humid day—condensation collects, and it looks like your can is “sweating.”

The same idea applies to your home’s ducts that appear dripping moisture. This is common for older homes that have not had their ductwork insulated properly and can be as annoying as any other AC leaking.

Contact your local expert to help you reinsulate your ducts properly but keeping mind that a bit of condensation is expected.

Find help with your AC leaks today.

Hopefully, your AC unit has done a good job of keeping your home comfortable this summer. As we continue into the hot months, it’s a good time to make sure that you’re ready to go for the future, too.

Don’t wait until your unit is leaking into your living room to give us a call, because at that point; it’ll be too late.

Call today for a maintenance checkup, and our expert technicians will review your systems to ensure they’re in working order and offer AC repair if they’re not. We can quickly catch the cause of your and repair what’s needed so that you can minimize the risk of property damage and get the comfort you and your family need.

Get in touch with us today to keep things flowing smoothly.


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