If you listen to your air conditioner while it runs, at times you may hear the drip of water coming from it. However, you shouldn’t see any water actually dripping from the air conditioner cabinet. If you do, there may be something wrong with it that will require you to call for professional repairs. We’ll take a closer look at what a leaking air conditioner may mean and what repairs will do to fix it.
Your AC doesn’t run using water
First, we’ll clear this up becomes it sometimes confuses people who don’t have professional refrigeration training. (Which, if we’re being honest, is most people.) An air conditioner uses a chemical blend called refrigerant (Freon is one of trademarked names) to cool down a home. The water you hear in the AC is a byproduct of how this refrigerant works. In the indoor refrigerant coil of your home, the cold refrigerant goes through evaporation to absorb heat. At the same time it also absorbs water moisture in the air—especially during humid days. This water moisture gathers along the coil and then drips down from it. That’s the water you hear inside the AC.
The condensate pan and drain
Where does the water from the coil go? It falls into a narrow pan called the condensate pan. From there, it leaves into the wastewater system through a drain. If everything is working the way it should, you’ll never see the water.
But when something’s wrong with the condensate pan…
Yes, you’ve probably guessed already: this is where water will leak from an AC. If the pan is in the wrong position (or missing for some reason), the water will drip right out of the indoor cabinet. The drain can also come loose from the pan, giving the water a hole to escape through. Another common trouble is algal growth inside the drain, which will clog it and cause the condensate pan to rapidly overflow. It is, after all, only about an inch deep!
Air conditioning technicians will be able to find quickly the source of the leaking water and figure out how to fix it. They can replace the drain, the pan, or reattach a loose drain. Your air conditioner should be back to working shape in no time at all.
Call Raleigh Heating & Air, Inc. for air conditioning repair services in Clayton, NC.