There are a lot of potential problems that you may encounter with your air conditioning system over the course of the cooling season. We would love to tell you otherwise, but our honesty and integrity are far too important to us to stretch the truth in such matters. No air conditioner, even when expertly manufactured, flawlessly installed, and meticulously maintained, is going to be 100% problem free. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you’ll see every problem coming, or even that you’ll realize certain problems were possible!
Case in point: The Legend of the Leaking Air Conditioner. Now, you’ve probably heard that refrigerant leaks are a major air conditioning problem—we will certainly have a blog written on that soon, so be sure to check back—but you may not have heard that air conditioners in Columbia, MD can leak water, as well. And the fact of the matter is that it’s not really a “leak” in the way you may be thinking of it. Read on for some much-needed clarification.
Calm Down. It’s Not a Figment of Your Imagination.
Your air conditioner does not use water in its operation. It doesn’t have a water supply line. It does not feature a water storage tank. So are you imagining the water that is surrounding the unit in your home? No, you’re not. So don’t worry about an overactive imagination getting the better of you. The water is there, it just may not have gotten there via a traditional water leak.
You’re Most Likely Looking at Condensation.
Huh? Yes, that’s right. Condensation. Your air conditioner is not a dehumidifier, but it does have some dehumidifying effects on the air that it cools. While it is possible that a plumbing leak in your home has allowed water to pool around the AC unit, condensation is often the source of this water.
Your AC cools the air in your home by removing heat via the evaporation of refrigerant. As heat is removed from the air, the moisture in that air condensates and collects on the evaporator coil. It has to go somewhere, so it drips into the condensate drain pan. From there, a condensate drain line removes the moisture from your home. Or, at least, that’s the plan.
What Went Wrong?
The condensate drain pan may not be lined up properly, so the condensation may be missing it. It could have holes due to damage or corrosion, or the drain line itself could be damaged. You could even ice forming on the coil if your air filter is too dirty or if you have a refrigerant leak. As it melts, it may overwhelm the drain assembly and leak all around it.
If your coil is frozen, then you definitely want to check the air filter to see if that’s the cause of the problem. If not, then you want to get in touch with us ASAP. A refrigerant leak can do serious damage to your system if given the opportunity, so you want to rule one out or have it resolved right away.