Where Does Air Conditioner Water Come From

Where Does Air Conditioner Water Come From

I bet when you have taken a look at your indoor air conditioner that you may have noticed that there was water dripping.  First time most people notice this they immediately think something is wrong, but rest-a-sure that this is completely normal.


Have you ever gotten a bottle of water out from the fridge and set it down, and usually within a few minutes you start seeing water collecting on the outside of the bottle, which is known as condensation.  This is basically what happens to the indoor air conditioning unit.


The way our bodies work to cool us down is by sweating, and when the sweat evaporates, it takes the heat along with it.  The only bad thing is that if the moisture in the air is really high our sweat will not evaporate, which makes it very difficult to cool down.


Refrigerant that is used by your air conditioning system is what is used to give the cooling effect in your home.  What it does is once the air in the home is sucked out of the room; the refrigerant pulls the heat from the air which all of that is pushed through to the outdoor unit.  There, the heat is released and the now cooled air is pushed back into the home and out into the rooms through the registers and vents.


With the indoor unit, when that air hits the evaporator and the refrigerant, the moisture that is in the air itself gets condensed.  It then drips into the drain that is in the AC unit.


The amount of liquid that gets condensed in the evaporator varies.  This is due to how humid each day is, and we all know here in Houston it stays pretty humid quite often, especially in the summertime.  The more humid it is, the more condensation you will find.


Now if there is a significant leak and it is happening on your outdoor AC or it does not seem to be draining on the indoor unit then something is wrong.  There are a few things that could cause a water leak with your system; here are just a few of them.


One of the most frequent but simple water leaks that can happen is your drain line is clogged.  Things such as dirt, rust, and other debris can cause this and having one of your HVAC specialists like Autumn Mechanical come out can easily fix this.  It is important to have this fixed as soon as possible because mold can grow and cause health issues for you and your family.


If the AC system was now properly installed, drainpipe fittings can become lose over the years, which can cause it to disconnect from the AC unit completely.  It is always best to get a trusted HVAC specialist out to fix as soon as possible.


Having a dirty or broken condensate pump can definitely cause a leakage with water, which can actually flood the area of where the air conditioner is located.


Some other smaller potential causes can be a clogged filter, condensate buildup in the ductwork that is not insulated, cracked condensate strain pan, refrigerant being low, and even not having a p-trap and air vent in the drain that help prevent water from backing up.


Thankfully there are ways to avoid water leakage from happening:

  • Clean or change out your air filters regularly.
  • Install a drain pan overflow switch that automatically shuts off.
  • Make sure that all your ductwork has been properly insulated.
  • Make sure that you have a p-trap and air vent in each drain line.
  • Make sure to include a safety pan under the air conditioning unit to catch any drain pan overflow.
  • Make sure that there is no mold or mildew in your condensate pump by flushing it with a solution mix of 50/50 water and bleach.
  • Make sure that there is a secondary drain line, especially if the unit is in the attic.
  • Make sure you stay up to date on your annual HVAC maintenance.
  • Make sure that your refrigerant levels are checked regularly as well.


If your air conditioning system is not operating correctly or is in need of its annual maintenance to prevent potential issues, please contact us today to schedule your appointment.  Do not be strand in the blasting heat of Houston, Texas summer without a cool home.


Autumn Mechanical
18812 Tomato St.
Spring, TX 77379
(713) 864-8368
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