In our last post, we talked about refrigerant leaks and why they are such a problem. We’ve previously discussed the (unfortunately pervasive) issue of leaky ductwork on our blog. Today, we are going to talk about a different type of leak in your AC. The water leak! Confused? If so, then you have every right to be. After all, you may well know that your air conditioner does not actually use any water in its operation, and it does not have a water supply piped to it.
Does this mean that you are imagining the sight of water surrounding your indoor unit (or the feeling of wet socks on your feet!)? Of course not. It does mean, however, that this is not really a “water leak” in the way that you are thinking of it. Fortunately for you, our Pennsauken, NJ HVAC pros are here to shed some light on the matter. Be sure to contact a member of our team with any questions that you may have, or if AC repairs are ever needed.
So Where Is This Water Coming From?
Water is not delivered to, nor is it used in, your air conditioning system. So where might it be coming from? How is this even possible? Because your air conditioner has a dehumidifying effect on the air that it cools, that’s how!
While its primary purpose is certainly not to dehumidify the air in your home—though we can certainly set you up with a whole-house dehumidifier designed for this purpose—some level of dehumidification is inherent in the cooling process. What does this have to do with your AC’s “water leak”?
As refrigerant evaporates in the evaporator coil, and moisture condenses in the process, that moisture collects on the coil. It needs to go somewhere, however, which brings us to our next point.
The Condensate Drain Assembly
Your air conditioner has a condensate drain pan and drain line specifically to deal with this condensation. Should that drain pan be misaligned or rusted through, you may wind up with water on the floor around the unit. Should the condensate drain line be clogged or backed up, then the same issue can develop. Realigning or replacing the pan, or cleaning out the drain line to free up the clog, may help to fix the problem. There is one major exception here, however.
Back to Refrigerant Leaks
No, it’s not refrigerant pooling around the AC unit, but that water could be the result of a refrigerant leak nonetheless. How so? If there is a low refrigerant charge in your system, then the coil can get too cold as too little heat is removed from the air in the system. When that happens, the condensation can freeze on the coil, overwhelming the drain assembly’s capabilities in the process. Because refrigerant leaks can do such serious damage, you really want to rule this issue out—or deal with it professionally—ASAP.
Schedule all of your air conditioning services with the professional technicians here at Climate Mechanics LLC.