Plumbing & Cooling Experts in Spring, TX

AC FAQ: Where's This Water Coming From?

Living in Houston obviously means living with some seriously hot temperatures throughout the summer season. It goes without saying that you want your air conditioner to deliver an effective, reliable, and efficient performance. While routine air conditioning maintenance is going to help keep your AC functioning as close to perfectly as possible, you need to expect problems to develop at some point. That is just the reality of using any mechanical system.

One of the more baffling problems that homeowners may encounter with their air conditioning systems is a water leak. Why is that so confusing? Well, for starters, air conditioners do not use water to cool homes. They evaporate refrigerant in order to remove heat from the air in the house. If no water is used in the cooling process, is piped to the system, or is stored in that system, what can cause a leak? And does this mean air conditioning repair in Houston, TX?

Where the Water Comes From

Look, we’re not saying that you are imagining things and that there is not actually any water around your indoor AC unit. That being said, it may not really be the result of a “leak” the way that you’re thinking of it. One thing to consider is that your AC unit may be installed at the lowest point in your home. That could result in water from plumbing/water heater leaks or even rainwater entering the home pooling around the unit. In such events, you’ll want waterproofing or plumbing repair services, not the help of an AC technician.

If this is not the case, then you are dealing with condensate failing to drain properly from the AC system. Your air conditioner is not a whole-house dehumidifier, but it does have a dehumidifying effect on the air that it cools. As heat is removed from the air, condensation collects on the evaporator coil. That condensation needs to go somewhere, which is why your air conditioner has a condensate drain/drain line setup.

Why The Water Is There

The drain pan may be corroded through and leaking. It may also simply be misaligned. Replacing or adjusting the drain pan may be all that it takes to resolve the “leak”. You could also have a clog in the condensate drain line, which can be cleared with a simple vinegar solution and maybe the use of a wet vac.

However, it could also be the result of ice melting and overwhelming your air conditioning unit.

If this is the case, you’ll want to check your air filter first. A very dirty air filter can restrict airflow to the point that the evaporator coil gets too cold. When that happens, the condensation that’s collected on it can ice over.

The same thing can happen when there is a refrigerant leak in the system, though. If this the case, then continuing to run that system could actually do serious damage to your air conditioner. If there is ice on the evaporator coil, especially if it’s on the refrigerant lines, as well, and your air filter is not dirty, contact us immediately.