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Thanks to our trusty air conditioning units, we've all experienced the relief of walking into a relaxed, comfortable room on a scorching hot day. But what happens when you notice water dripping from your air conditioner?

It can be alarming and leave you wondering what's going on. In this blog post, we'll explore the common causes behind aircon water leaks and provide practical solutions to keep your unit running smoothly. So, let's dive in and uncover the mystery behind why your air conditioner is leaking water!

Common Signs of Air Conditioner Water Leak

An outright sign of a leaking air conditioner is a persistent drip from your system even when turned off. When you notice the dripping, you should call your technician to diagnose and repair the problem before you use the system. If you continue using the system, water may run down the wall leaving mould and nasty stains. Other signs that show that your air conditioner is leaking include:

  • Watermarks under your indoor unit
  • Dripping noise inside your wall
  • Water pools on the floor under the unit
  • Poor performance of the air conditioning system

Causes of Aircon Water Leaks

Clogged or dirty air filters

A clogged or dirty air filter is one of the primary culprits behind your air conditioner leaking. Over time, dust, debris, and other particles can accumulate in the filter, obstructing the normal airflow.

When the airflow is restricted, the evaporator coil becomes too cold, causing condensation to form and drip from the unit. The solution here is simple: regularly clean or replace your air filters. This prevents water leakage and improves your air conditioner's overall efficiency.

Drain line blockage

Another common cause of water leakage is a blockage in the air conditioner's drain line. The drain line carries the condensed water away from the unit. If it becomes clogged with dirt, algae, or debris, the water can't escape and starts to leak.

To fix this issue, locate the drain line (usually a PVC pipe near the outdoor unit) and gently flush it with warm water and vinegar. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the drain line will keep your aircon leak-free.

Refrigerant leak

A refrigerant leak is a more severe issue requiring a professional technician's immediate attention. When your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak, it disrupts the cooling process, causing the evaporator coil to freeze.

As the ice melts, it leads to excess water that drips from the unit. You may also notice reduced cooling efficiency and higher energy bills besides water leakage. Don't attempt to fix a refrigerant leak; instead, call a licensed HVAC technician to diagnose and repair the leak.

Improper installation

If your aircon is relatively new and still under warranty, the improper installation might be causing it to leak water. An incorrectly installed unit can lead to various issues, including poor drainage and condensation problems.

Contact the company or technician who installed your air conditioner if you suspect faulty installation. They should rectify the problem and ensure your unit functions properly.

Low outdoor temperature

During high humidity and low outdoor temperature periods, aircon water leakage is quite common. When the warm, humid indoor air comes into contact with the cold evaporator coil, condensation occurs. In most cases, the unit collects and drains this condensation.

However, the aircon may produce excess condensation during highly humid conditions, leading to water leaks. To mitigate this issue, consider using a dehumidifier in the room or slightly increase the temperature setting on your aircon.

Overload on the drain pan

The drain pan, located beneath the evaporator coil, collects condensation and channels it away. However, if the drain pan becomes overloaded due to excessive condensation or a clog in the drain line, it may overflow and cause water leakage.

Regularly inspect and clean the drain pan to ensure proper functioning. Additionally, ensure that the drain pan is securely in place to avoid any water overflow.

Maintenance Tips for Your Aircon

Regular maintenance is crucial to prevent water leakage and ensure the optimal performance of your air conditioning unit. Here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind:

Clean or replace air filters

Dirty or clogged air filters can obstruct airflow, leading to condensation and water leakage. Clean or replace the filters every 1-3 months, depending on usage and the manufacturer's recommendations.

Clean the evaporator coil

Over time, the evaporator coil can accumulate dirt and debris, hindering its ability to absorb heat and causing the coil to freeze. Regularly clean the coil using a soft brush or vacuum to remove any buildup.

Check and clean the drain line

Inspect the drain line for any blockages or buildup. If you notice a clog, gently flush the drain line with warm water and vinegar to clear it.

Inspect the drain pan

Regularly check the drain pan beneath the evaporator coil for any signs of damage or overflow. Clean the pan and ensure it is securely in place.

Check refrigerant levels

Low refrigerant levels can lead to freezing and subsequent water leakage. Consult a professional technician to check and replenish refrigerant levels if needed.

Inspect the condensate pump

If your aircon uses a condensate pump, ensure it is functioning correctly. Listen for any unusual noises or vibrations and have a technician inspect and repair the pump if necessary.

Schedule professional maintenance

Consider scheduling annual maintenance with a licensed HVAC technician. They can thoroughly inspect and service your air conditioning unit, addressing any potential issues before they become major problems.

DIY Fixing Tips for a Leaking Aircon

While it's always recommended to consult a professional HVAC technician for complex issues, you can take a few DIY steps to address minor water leakage problems with your air conditioning unit. However, please exercise caution and prioritise your safety. Suppose you need more clarification or are uncomfortable performing any of these steps.

Here are some DIY fixing tips:

Unclog the drain line

  • Locate the drain line, usually a PVC pipe near the outdoor unit.
  • Turn off the air conditioner.
  • Gently remove any debris or dirt from the opening of the drain line.
  • Use a mixture of warm water and vinegar to flush the drain line. You can do this by pouring the solution into the pipe or using a small brush to clean the inside.
  • Repeat the process until the water flows freely through the drain line.

Clean the air filters

  • Turn off the air conditioner.
  • Locate the air filters, usually found behind a cover on the indoor unit.
  • Remove the filters and inspect them for dirt and debris.
  • If reusable, clean the filters using a vacuum cleaner or rinse with water and mild detergent. Let them dry completely before reinstalling.
  • If disposable, replace the filters with new ones according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Inspect and clean the drain pan

  • Turn off the air conditioner.
  • Remove your AC access panel to access the drain pan.
  • Check for any visible cracks or damage in the pan. If significant damage is present, it may need to be replaced by a professional.
  • Use a damp sponge and or cloth to clean the drain pan, removing any accumulated dirt or debris.
  • Ensure the drain pan is securely placed before reattaching the access panel.

Check for obstructions

  • Turn off the air conditioner.
  • Inspect the area around the indoor and outdoor units for any obstacles or debris that could hinder proper airflow.
  • Remove any objects, such as furniture, plants, or leaves that may block the vents or obstruct the unit.

Contact an Expert HVAC Technician for Assistance

In conclusion, while there are some DIY steps you can take to address minor water leakage issues with your air conditioning unit, it's essential to prioritise your safety and know your limits. If you feel uncomfortable or unsure about performing any repairs, it's always best to seek professional help from a licensed HVAC technician near you. They have the expertise, experience, and tools to accurately diagnose and fix complex issues.

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