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Does Your AC Have a Water Leak?

Man-on Huh, that’s weird. The AC is leaking water. I didn’t even know that it held water! I’ll just try to find the leak myself and maybe I can plug it up. 

Stop. Right. There.

You are not hallucinating. Yes, your air conditioner may be surrounded by water. Yes, this may be the result of a leak in the system—though probably not exactly in the way that you’re thinking.  The fact of the matter is that, unless you are using an evaporative cooler, your air conditioner does not use water in its operation.

It doesn’t store water.

It doesn’t have a water supply line.

So where the heck is this water coming from?

Well, that is what we are going to be looking at in today’s post! Read on to learn more about why your air conditioner may be standing in a pool of water, and whether or not that means that you need air conditioning repair in Durham, NC.

First of All, You’re Probably Looking at Condensation

Wait, condensation? Like on a cold drink? Yep, that’s right. Condensation. Remember, your air conditioner isn’t generating new “cool” air out of nowhere. It is removing heat from the air that is already in your house. It does this by evaporating refrigerant in the evaporator coil. Now, as heat is removed from the air via the evaporation of refrigerant, some moisture is going to be drawn out of the air, too. This dehumidification is a normal byproduct of the cooling process.

That moisture condenses on the evaporator coil itself, but it has to go somewhere after that. This is where the condensate drain pan/drain line assembly comes into play. The condensation drips off of the evaporator coil, and into the drain pan. It should then be drained out of the house through the drain line.

If that drain pan is misaligned or is rusted through, or if the drain line is clogged up or damaged, then you’ll have a leak on your hands. You can readjust the drain pan or clean out the drain line on your own (if you feel comfortable in doing so). Anything beyond that is really a job for the pros, though.

It Could Also Be Melting Ice

Whoa, my AC is really effective then, right? Well, no—actually, it’s not working properly. It’s a cooling system, not a freezer, and that means that ice on its evaporator coil, where it may be melting off from and overwhelming your drainage setup, is never a good sign.

The cause of the problem is a coil getting too cold, resulting in the freezing of condensation on the coil. This may be due to a very dirty filter restricting airflow, in which case you can resolve the problem by changing the filter. However, it could also be a refrigerant leak.

If you have a refrigerant leak, and you keep running your system, you will damage it. Eventually, the compressor can be totally destroyed. If your air filter is clean and your seeing icing like this, then contact us right away.

Schedule your AC services with Raleigh Heating & Air.

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