As a homeowner in North Florida and beyond, you know your AC vents leaking water is an alarming sign. Mold growth, property damage and costly repairs can quickly result from this problem if you don’t address water leaks right away. But why do your AC vents leak water in the first place?
Let the Gainesville HVAC experts at A+ Air Conditioning explain more about what causes your air conditioner vents to leak, and learn troubleshooting options to remedy the situation.
Why Is My AC Vent Leaking Water?
Whether the water is leaking from your AC vents in the ceiling or from around your air handler, the most common thing that causes water leaks is a clogged drain pipe. If something is blocking water from flowing through the drain line, it will back up into the drip pan and cause water to leak around the air handler. Due to humid conditions, algae and bacteria can easily clog a drain pipe. If too much builds up, a clog may occur. An overflowing drip pan could potentially damage other parts of your air conditioner, while a few drops from your air vents should be ok.
Causes of AC Vent Water Leaks
- Clogged condensate drain line
- Damaged or decayed drain pan
- Broken condensate pump
- Refrigerant leak
- Dirty air filter
What Does a Drip Pan Do?
Before getting into why drip pans fill with water, it’s important to understand the role a drip pan plays within your air conditioner. Your air conditioning system contains a drain line, which removes excess water from the evaporator coils. Before reaching the drainpipe, this water drips into a drain pan. It then flows through the drainpipe, out of your home. Your drip pan serves as a reservoir that carries water from the evaporator coil to the drainpipe. If it fails, the water will not be able to drain properly.
What Should I Do About a Clogged Drain Line?
While a professional AC technician will be glad to help, a homeowner can usually fix a clogged drain line without professional help. If you feel comfortable giving it a shot, follow these steps. (If the condensate pump is broken, contact us immediately.)
Step 1. Turn off the AC unit.
Step 2. Empty the drain pan using a wet/dry shop vac (you may use another method, but this is the easiest way).
Step 3. Remove and debris from the drain and surrounding area. Check the end of the drainpipe, which is located outside your home, to see if anything is blocking it. Make sure it’s all clear.
Step 4. Remove the cap from the top of the drainpipe and use a small, yet sturdy wire brush to clear the blockage.
Step 5. When the pipe appears clear, pour a cup of bleach into the drip pan and top of the drainpipe. This will help remove any algae or other growth you might have missed and prevent it from growing back anytime soon.
Step 6. Replace the cap and turn your air conditioner back on. If the problem continues, contact a professional AC technician.
For more information on how to clean your AC Condensate Drain Line, check out our blog: How to Clean Your AC Condensate Drain Line With Vinegar
Low Refrigerant Levels
When the refrigerant in your air conditioner is low, it will cause the evaporator coil to freeze over. When the coil melts, the water overflows in the drain pan. If the refrigerant leak is significant, then the entire AC system could need to be replaced. Contact A+ immediately if you believe your refrigerant is leaking.
AC Maintenance Helps Prevent Water Leaks
Instead of coming home to an inconvenient surprise of water leaking everywhere, schedule a preventive maintenance visit with A Plus Air Conditioning and Refrigeration! In addition to making sure your drain line is clear, we’ll inspect each part of your air conditioner to make sure everything’s running smoothly and is properly tuned. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today!