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May 29, 2015
Let's face it, water leaking from anywhere inside your home is never a good sign.
And from your home’s air conditioner?
Yeah, that’s frightening and confusing.
The good news: You’re not alone.
Many homeowners in humid summer climates like Lawton, OK have the same problem—and we’re here to help.
But before we get into it, turn off your AC to prevent serious water damage and dangerous electrical issues.
First, here’s how an AC works
No, your AC doesn’t use water to operate. It does, however, create a fair amount of condensation.
You see, the job of your inside AC unit is to pull heat and humidity from the air inside your home. To do that, your system’s blower pulls in air (or “sucks in” air) through an air vent inside your home called a “return vent”. The warm air then blows across your inside unit’s cold evaporator coil to condition the air, absorbing its heat.
As the warm air passes over the cool coil, condensation happens. And the more humid the air, the more condensation. This is the same concept of condensation collecting on a glass of ice cold water on a hot, Oklahoma summer day.
Where does the water go? When working correctly, the condensation goes into a drain pan then down a “condensate drain line,” leading the water to a floor drain, condensate pump or a pipe outside your house.
The common causes of condensate leaks
Now that you know the reason for water, its method of escape and the parts involved, it might make it easier to understand the common causes below.
Clogged drain pipe or rusted pan: Your drain pipe can easily get clogged by a number of things including dirt, insects and mold. This could potentially cause some fairly serious problems such as thousands of dollars in water damage on top of electrical issues and health hazards from mold and bacteria.
Also, the drain pan may be rusted through, causing a buildup of water and again potential damage to your home.
Frozen evaporator coil: There are a number of causes that lead to a frozen evaporator coil. And when a frozen coil melts, it can leak water into your home or attic.
Installation issues: If your AC is fairly new, the problem may be installation related. A faulty condensate trap will stop the condensate from draining. So all that water builds up in the drain pan and overflows into your home, causing water damage.
Simply put, if you’ve noticed water leaking inside your home, we recommend taking immediate action to fix the problem, whatever the cause. It’s always wise to contact a trusted professional and reliable HVAC repair specialist to ensure safety and proper resolution.