The start of summer in Northern Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati area means the weather is heating up and homeowners are turning their thermostats down. But did you know that an AC leak will jeopardize the cool comfort of your indoor space and lead to mold and major water damage throughout your home?
Luckily, our experts at Rusk Heating and Cooling have gathered all the information you need to know about five of the major causes of AC leaks and how we can address them through preventative maintenance and our AC repair services.
1. A Clogged Condensate Drain Line
Aside from providing cool, comfortable air inside your home, your air conditioner is also responsible for removing excess humidity. The condensate drain line is a crucial piece of your AC system that helps transport excess moisture from the air and out of your home. When these lines get clogged with minerals, dirt, or other debris, it prevents the water from draining properly and can lead to an AC leaking water.
A homeowner might be able to clear a minor clog themselves, but in most cases, one of our experts at Rusk can address a clogged drain line and repair the problem in a timely manner.
First, the AC system must be turned off. Then, check for any damage to the drain line and make sure it’s properly connected. Next, clear the line using a wet/dry vacuum to suck out any clogs. If the problem persists, you can also try cleaning with a wire brush or drain snake. Both will help break up clogs, which can be fully removed by flushing the line with water.
2. The Drip Pan is Damaged
The evaporator coil collects moisture from the air and dispenses it into drain pans directly below the coils. Drip pans can become damaged due to corrosion or rust, or sometimes even crack with age. If the pan does get cracked or damaged, water will eventually begin to seep out, and you’ll likely find a large puddle on the floor under and around your AC unit. This can damage your home and cause mold to grow.
If the damage to the drip pan is minimal, it can simply be sealed with epoxy or silicone caulk. But, typically, when a crack appears in a drip pan, the best solution is to have an HVAC technician at Rusk replace the pan to prevent future leaks.
3. Broken Condensate Pump
The condensate pump moves water from the drain pan into the condensate lines. If the pump stops functioning, water will build up and eventually overflow. Sometimes, the condensate pump itself isn’t broken but stopped working due to a loss of power, either because the power was shut off accidentally or from a tripped circuit breaker. The pump also has a float switch which may get stuck. But if the problem continues after checking these areas, then your pump is likely faulty and an HVAC technician will need to be called to replace it.
4. A Refrigerant Leak
Refrigerant is a chemical that flows through a copper circuit in both liquid and gas forms to keep your air cool. Leaks in this system are fairly common, and are caused by normal wear and tear or corrosion of the copper tubes over time. A naturally occurring acid that develops in the system can also eat away at the copper and cause a leak. If a refrigerant leak does occur, you’ll notice a lack of cool air, increased energy bills, and an unusual hissing sound coming from your unit.
But these aren’t the only differences between refrigerant leaks and water leaks – refrigerant leaks can also have more significant side effects. Coming into contact with the chemical can lead to headaches, coughing, respiratory trouble, dizziness, and mild burns. So if you suspect a refrigerant leak, it’s important to call one of our experts at Rusk so we can remove the refrigerant from the system and either repair the hole or replace the copper tubes.
5. Dirty Air Filter
Clogged and dirty air filters can also cause an air conditioning unit to leak water. Clogged air filters block air from your system’s evaporator coil, causing it to freeze over. When the ice melts, it causes the drain pan to fill over, leading to a leak.
Put an End to AC Leaks with Rusk Heating and Cooling
Whether the cause of your air conditioning system leak is outlined above or is the side effect of a deeper problem within your unit, our HVAC technicians at Rusk Heating and Cooling are prepared to offer you the highest quality services in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati at any time with our flexible appointment schedule and 24/7 emergency services. Or you can become a Maintenance Agreement Customer and get ahead of your AC issues with priority status and preventative services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.