Is Your Ductless Air Conditioner Leaking Water? Here's How To Solve It!
This summer is shaping up to be hot and stormy. And, chances are, you’ll have enough repairs around the house (or cottage) to last all summer. The last thing you need to worry about is a leaky air conditioner!
So how do you prevent a leak from happening in your central or ductless air conditioner?
If you’re like most homeowners in Sudbury, Ontario, you’ve turned your air conditioner on well before the official start of the season. In fact, you’ve probably had it powered up for weeks now.
But did you give it a thorough maintenance check BEFORE turning it on?
With Ontario weather fluctuating so quickly, it can be easy to forget this initial step. Or even forego it.
But skipping it will cost you!
Especially with the 2022 summer solstice only four days away.
In this article, find out,
- WHY your air conditioner is leaking water,
- HOW to fix it and
- How to PREVENT it from happening again.
But First: How Can You Tell Your Air Conditioner Is Leaking?
Although a leaky air conditioner may seem like an obvious problem, it can sometimes go unnoticed.
And an unknown leak in your A/C could lead to some hefty repair bills.
Here are some tell-tale signs of an air conditioner leak that you can begin to watch out for:
- Full condensate pan.
- Mouldy smells.
- Water damage.
- Standing water.
If you notice any of these signs, we highly recommend following these 4 maintenance tips or booking an A/C repair visit with our HVAC team.
The 4 Common Culprits of a Leaky A/C
Now that we know how to spot a leaking air conditioner, we can nail down some common reasons why these leaks may exist.
Note that all four factors relate to both a ductless air conditioner and a central air conditioner.
Clogged Drain Line
The most common cause of A/C water leak is a clogged condensate drain line. This pipe removes condensate water from your A/C unit - making it a crucial element of a high-performing HVAC system.
Over time, however, this line can become clogged with:
- Mould etc.
And clogged condensate drain line prevents water from escaping outside. Instead of draining outside, it gets back up, causing that water to leak right back into your home.
Voila - a leaky A/C!
Damaged Drain Pan
Connected to the drain line is the drain pan. It’s placed under the evaporate coils and catches this condensate water. Once collected, the condensate water then flows through your condensate drain line.
But what happens if this drain pan becomes damaged or rusted?
Over time, the pan can crack or begin to deteriorate. Causing any water collected within it to leak out and into your home.
In some cases, this vital component is actually missing!
Maybe the installer forgot it during the initial installation. Or it fell out without you knowing. Or maybe you simply forgot to put one back in during your last A/C Maintenance Tune-Up.
But whether damaged, rusted or misplaced, the outcome is the same - a leaking A/C unit.
Dirty Air Filter
Another common reason your central or ductless air conditioner may be leaking is because of a dirty air filter.
You’ve heard us talk about air filters before in our blog! We’ve explored ways to increase indoor air quality with home air conditioning - including one of the easiest ways: replacing your HVAC filter.
And more recently, we explained how pet dander affects your indoor air quality. We then provided our #1 tip for helping improve and manage that indoor air quality with pets at home: changing your HVAC filter regularly!
Both blogs conclude that homeowners should change their HVAC air filters every 30-90 days.
Because these filters trap airborne particles!
This makes them an affordable way to improve indoor air quality and keep your HVAC system running efficiently.
What happens if you don’t change your air filter regularly?
- Dust particles and allergens can clog the filter - preventing it from filtering your indoor air quality.
- Once clogged, airflow can significantly decrease - causing your A/C to work overtime.
- The more effort it takes to cool your home, the higher your energy bills will be.
- Poor airflow can also lead to your evaporator coils freezing over.
- Once melted again, this excess water on your evaporator coils can then cause your drain pan to overflow. Resulting in a leaking air conditioner.
Not Enough Refrigerant
Poor airflow isn’t the only reason your air conditioner is freezing up. Another common culprit for this issue is low refrigerant levels.
Refrigerant is the substance used to condition air to a specific temperature. It can absorb heat from the environment and convert it into cool air!
But when refrigerant levels are low, the pressure in your air conditioner lowers too. This can cause the coils to become cold and your HVAC unit to freeze up.
Once frozen, your coils can become damaged, leading to a damaged compressor. This is a costly repair and/or replacement that you definitely don’t want to deal with this summer.
Here are some low-refrigerant signs you can start watching for:
- The air conditioner is not sufficiently cooling your home.
- A/C vents are not blowing cool air.
- Energy bills are rising unexpectedly.
- You hear hissing or bubbling noises coming from the A/C unit.
- Water is surrounding the A/C.
A problem like this is why our Campeau Heating team recommends booking spring air conditioner maintenance. A simple check-up could prevent these common spring HVAC problems from arising!
How Do I Stop My Air Conditioner From Leaking?
All the above issues could eventually cause long-term damage to your HVAC system. Some lead to costly repairs and others to complete unit replacements.
To avoid these unexpected costs this summer, learn how to stop your air conditioner from leaking in the first place!
Clean Your Drain Line.
First up, clean your drain line!
Clearing out your drain line every few months can kill algae, prevent fungi and remove any dirt and debris clogging the pipe.
You can do this using bleach, vinegar, brushes or a wet/dry vac. But before cleaning, contact your Campeau Heating technician to find out which solution is best for your specific cooling system.
Change Your Air Filter.
Change your air filter regularly - about every 30-90 days. This prevents dirt and particle build-up from slowing down your cooling system, harming your indoor air quality and damaging your equipment.
Repair or Replace Your Drain Pan.
If your drain pan cracked, you should be able to repair it with a water-resistant sealant. But if the pan rusted, you will have to replace it
When replacing your drain pain, remember to select the correct size. Your Campeau Heating technician can help identify which size is best for your specific system.
Check Your Refrigerant Levels.
Checking your refrigerant levels at the start of summer can save you a lot of unnecessary work and money later in the year.
Air conditioners are usually installed with the correct amount of refrigerant levels right off the bat, so refills aren’t necessary. But if your installer didn’t put the correct amount in, or if there is a refrigerant leak, you’ll need to refill it.
Not sure how to go about refilling your air conditioner refrigerant? Give our team a call!
Schedule Your Air Conditioner Maintenance Appointment With Campeau Heating
If you haven’t booked your A/C maintenance appointment, now is the time!
Preventative maintenance can ensure you have all the necessary equipment and that everything is in good working order BEFORE the true heat of summer arrives.
Book A/C Maintenance HERE!
Follow Along For More HVAC Tips and Advice From The Experts!
At Campeau Heating in Sudbury, Ontario, we care about you, your home and your comfort. We want to ensure you have everything ready to go for a cool and relaxing summer season. And that starts with a high-performing air conditioner!
Whether you have a central or ductless air conditioner, our HVAC technicians have the equipment and know-how to prepare your home for the season ahead.
Keep following along with our blog this summer for more HVAC tips and advice from our cooling experts! And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! You can reach our team at (705) 560-2441 or online!