Stay Cool, Even if Your Air Conditioner is Leaking

Stay Cool, Even if Your Air Conditioner is LeakingA leaking air conditioner doesn’t leak air. It leaks water — maybe lots of it. On a hot and humid summer day here in northern Georgia, a central A/C can condense more than 20 gallons of water vapor out of the air. If everything goes right, as condensate collects in the drip pan beneath the indoor air handler, all that water safely flows down a drain line connected to the household sewer pipe.

If something goes wrong, however, water damage from a leaking air conditioner can be severe. In most cases the air handler is enclosed inside an HVAC closet, or in the basement or up in the attic. Many gallons may leak before the problem’s even noticed. Here are some possible causes of a leaking air conditioner and what your HVAC contractor can do to resolve the problem:

Clogged Drain Line

The warm, wet environment of the condensate drip pan beneath the air handler is a perfect breeding ground for algae. The wet sticky growth eventually infiltrates and clogs the condensate drain line, causing a drip pan overflow. An HVAC service technician can blow out the drain line, disinfect the drip pan and install time-release tablets in the pan that inhibit algae growth all summer long.

Drip Pan Issues

Vibration from the blower may gradually dislodge an unsecured drip pan, moving it out of correct position to catch condensate. Also, plastic drip pans installed with some A/C units may crack or split due to aging, then leak water. An inspection by a qualified service technician will disclose these problems and provide a solution.

Advanced Protection

Your HVAC contractor may suggest installation of a float switch that continuously senses the water level in the drip pan. If a clog occurs and the pan fills, the float switch automatically cuts off electricity to the unit to prevent overflow. This early warning gives you the chance to call for service before water damage happens.

For professional service to diagnose and repair a leaking air conditioner, in Peachtree City, contact Powers Heating & Air.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air conditioners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “GSPhotography/Shutterstock”

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