With the heat of August in full swing, now is definitely not the time to have to deal with air conditioner problems. But it is something of Murphy’s Law that just when you are relying on this appliance the most is when issues will arise. Hopefully the problem won’t result in your AC unit completely breaking down or failing to generate cold air, but if you notice a water leak you certainly should not just leave it be. Water leakage could preface more serious problems, and if left alone you could end up with a broken air conditioner and a mold problem underneath the window or inside the walls. Hopefully the water leak isn’t a big deal, and it may well be an easy fix. Here are some of the common reasons why air conditioners leak water, so you’ll know where to start in your efforts to solve the problem.
Oftentimes a water leak could simply be due to an improper installation job. This is often the case with window units, especially the heavy ones that are difficult to perfectly position. If water is leaking and the installation is to blame, the rear of the unit may be positioned higher than the front. That means the drainage system won’t have gravity in its favor, and the water will trickle into the room. Even a one inch difference will be enough to cause a problem in this case. Start your repair efforts here, and hopefully a readjustment is all it takes.
If the air conditioner has been installed correctly, the issue may be due to icing. Remember that your air conditioner also dehumidifies the air inside. If the cooling system malfunctions ice will result, blocking up the drainage system and redirecting the water inside. Turn the unit on and pull off the front grille. If you see ice on the cooling coils a professional service will be required.
Next, look to see if air is leaking out around the air conditioner itself. In this case the cooling system is working properly, which means the air inside your home is significantly colder than the air outside. If there’s a leak in the seal, condensation will be the result. You can bet this is the issue if you see the water leaking out the front of the unit or dripping from somewhere on the body. Let the unit run for about half an hour, then check under the base. If you see water drops there, you can probably handle the issue by beefing up the foam insulation around that bottom edge.
Another of the more common issues that lead to water leaks is when the drain hole has been blocked up. Look at the rear base of your unit, and you should see some sort of drainage hole. The water is supposed to flow here, dripping harmlessly out onto the pavement. If that hole gets blocked up the water will back into the unit. You’ll have to leave the air conditioner on for an hour or so, then head outside and see if the water is dripping out of the drain. If the base is full of water and doesn’t seem to be draining, this may well be the culprit. Get into the hole with a stick of some sort to see if you can remove the blockage.
Also keep in mind that the leaking water may be due to a misuse of the air conditioning unit. There are times as you get towards the end of the summer but before you perform your freon phase out when you are using the AC by habit but it isn’t really necessary. If the temperature outside your home drops under sixty degrees overnight while the unit is still in operation than that alone could be the issue. Just try shutting off your air conditioner at night. If the temperature change is the cause you should notice the end of your leakage issues.