It can be really tough to sleep during the dog days of summer. You’re probably anxious about returning to school, sending the kids off to school, or leaving those long vacations days behind to get back into the grind. Then the stress of the holiday season is right around the corner, and the summer vacation will feel like a distant memory. In addition, this is the time of year when the heat and humidity can feel truly overwhelming. You sweat all day long, and then sweat through your covers at night. So you start running the air conditioner even while you’re in bed, hoping that will solve the problem. Suddenly, dripping water is keeping you awake into the wee hours. You check the bathroom, then the kitchen faucets, but you can’t find anything wrong. The next day you notice a pool of water underneath the air conditioner, which solves the mystery but creates a new problem. So is it normal for your air conditioner to leak water?
The answer is a little bit complicated. When your air conditioner cools the room, condensation frequently occurs. Water is therefore created, and it is normal for that water to leak from your air conditioning unit. However, those leaks should not come into the room. If you’ve got dripping water out the front of your unit or pools collecting under the sill that is definitely not normal. You are going to have to figure out what’s wrong, and it could be any number of things.
One of the most frequent issues that causes leaking water is a broken condenser pump. This is quite common, especially as an air conditioning unit ages. Check for this issue by pouring some water into the condenser pan. If the pump activates the excess water will clear. If it doesn’t, make sure the condenser pump is powering up, and that the motor is running. If the pump won’t activate, you’re going to have to have a maintenance professional come in and take a look.
A less foreboding problem that can cause leaks if when you don’t have the air conditioner installed properly. The unit should be either level or slightly sloped towards the outside of the house. Mess up this equilibrium by just an inch or two and you’ll get pooling water. Start off by checking the level of the unit, and then check your ventilation system if you’ve got central air in the house. Too many closed vents could be building up pressure and compromising the seals on your HVAC valves.
You could also have a blockage in the drain hole. Every air conditioner is meant to drain at least a little bit of water outside. The back of the unit has a drain hole, and if you’re on the first floor it may have filled up with some sort of debris. Try to look into the tube, or work a pen in there to see if anything comes out. If there’s no problem here you might just be running the air conditioner when it’s too cold outside. Think about last night’s temperature. Perhaps you were so busy working on the report for your boss evaluating office air quality that you didn’t notice the outside temperature falling below sixty degrees. If it gets much colder than that excess water that builds up around your air conditioner won’t evaporate effectively. Try this theory out by switching your AC unit off the next night. If the leakage doesn’t come back your unit is fine.