Why Your Air Conditioning Is Leaking Water

In the heat of summer, a leaking air conditioning unit can quickly turn comfort into frustration. One common issue many homeowners face is water leaking from the indoor part of their AC system.

This phenomenon can be a sign that you need a service, or it may be time to call a team offering air conditioning installation Brisbane.

In this article, we’ll look at the main causes of air conditioners that leak water, and see what you can do to resolve the issue.

Reasons Air Conditioners Leak Water

1. Clogged Condensate Drain

Air conditioners extract small amounts of water from the air during normal use. This happens when the warm, humid air contacts the cold evaporator coil, causing water to condense on the coil.

Normally, this condensation is collected by a shallow tray and allowed to drain to the outside of your home. If the tray is overflowing, or if the drain hose becomes blocked by things like dust and mould, this can cause a water leak inside your home. It’s usually simple enough to clean out the condensation drain yourself, or you can leave it up to the pros during your normal service.

2. Dirty Air Filter

The air that passes through your air conditioner is filtered to remove dirt, dust, pollen, pollution and other nasties. This improves the air quality in your home dramatically.

But air filters become blocked during normal use and require regular cleaning. If you don’t clean the filter, air flow through the system will eventually become blocked, which may cause the evaporator coil to freeze. Once the coil thaws, the ice will melt and the water will likely drip down the wall.

3. Leaking Refrigerant

Air conditioners use refrigerant to create cool air inside your home. This liquid refrigerant is continuously pumped around a sealed system of pipes and coils. If any of the pipes, fitting, coils or other components become damaged (such as from corrosion), the refrigerant can leak.

A refrigerant leak can look a lot like a water leak to the untrained eye. If you notice a water leak followed by a loss of cooling power, chances are that you’ve got a refrigerant leak. Switch off the unit and contact a professional. Refrigerants can be poisonous to humans and pets.

4. Old Pipework

Your air conditioning system works by pumping refrigerant chemicals through a closer loop of pipework. The refrigerant running through these pipes makes them cold, and water and condensate on the outside. This is normally prevented by wrapping the pipes in insulation.

As the insulation ages and perishes, water may be able to collect on the pipes and cause small water leaks. This can usually be fixed by asking a technician to replace the insulation around the pipework.

5. Improper Installation

Split system air conditioners need to be installed level with the ground. This is largely because the condensate drain is a shallow tray that’s designed to catch water droplets. If the air conditioner is hung crooked, the condensation won’t drain away properly, and it may leak down the wall instead.

You’ll need to contact your installer if you suspect the wall unit has been hung crooked. The issue is normally simple to fix, and it shouldn’t cost you anything.

How to Stop Air Conditioning from Leaking Water

A leaking air conditioner is a sign that it’s time to book a professional service. Your technician will properly clean and inspect the unit, locate the source of the leakage. In most cases, they’ll be able to clean the condensate drain and get things working as normal.

If it’s a bigger problem, they may need to perform repairs.

  • Before you call the professionals in, you can try the following things to stop your air conditioner from leaking:
  • Remove the air filter and clean it with a garden hose and mild soap. Allow it to dry in the shade before putting it back in the air conditioner.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to remove built up dust and other contaminants from inside the air conditioner.
  • Check the outdoor compressor unit and make sure the fan isn’t blocked by things like fallen leaves and pet hair.
  • Run the air conditioner and watch the outlet on the condensate drain to see how much water comes out. If it drips slowly, the drain is working properly.

If cleaning the system doesn’t work, you’ll probably need a technician’s help. Remember that air conditioners can be delicate, and refrigerant chemicals may be harmful, so leaving it up to the pros is a good choice.

We recommend booking an air conditioner service every 12 months. The best time to have your system serviced is before summer begins to avoid the rush.


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