If you noticed water pooling around the base of your home's air conditioner, then this is a problem you need to investigate. While most HVAC repairs should be made by a licensed air conditioning service, you may be able to save yourself the cost of a service call by doing a bit of troubleshooting yourself.
To find the source of your air conditioner's water leak, first check out each of these three most common places residential air conditioners leak water:
- the evaporator coil
- the drain line
- the drain pan
Here's a bit more information on each of these parts:
Leak Location #1: The Evaporator Coil
Your home's air conditioner cools down outdoor air by passing it over evaporator coils filled with a coolant called freon. As the air is cooled, the freon absorbs its heat.
Any water molecules found in the cooling air condensate on the coils, and when things are working as designed, the accumulating water is discharged to the drain pan via the drain line.
If the air conditioner runs too long or the evaporator coils get too cold, the coils can freeze on the outside and later drip water where it doesn't belong. For this reason, checking for ice is always a good first step when your air conditioner is dripping water anywhere other than in its drain pan.
If the evaporator coils' refrigerant filter is clogged, this will prevent them from properly cooling air. Also, if they become too dirty or damaged, this can also cause your air conditioner to malfunction and drip water where it shouldn't be.
Leak Location #2: The Drain Line
If you look in your air conditioner and don't see any ice, then it's possible the drain line has become either disconnected or clogged. When one of these things happens, the condensate from the coils leaks out without hitting the drain pan.
If you find a disconnected drain line, then simply reconnecting it will solve the problem. If you see the line is clogged with minerals, you can remove it, flush it with vinegar, and reconnect it, and this will stop the leaking problem.
Leak Location #3: The Drain Pan
Finally, water condensate should collect in the drain pan under your air conditioning unit. During the heat of the day, the water will quickly evaporate. However, if the drain pan has rusted through or become damaged, then this can also cause water leaks. So, it is important to take a good look at the drain pan as well before you call in an air conditioning service for assistance.