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Why Is My AC Leaking?

Maybe you just installed a new air conditioning system. Or maybe you’ve had the same old faithful for years. But then (in the heat of July, of course), you find a puddle of liquid underneath your AC unit. What’s wrong with your AC? Do you need to call for maintenance or replace the unit? Don’t panic—a leaking air conditioner can mean several things, and not all bad.

Want a second opinion? Metro Heating & Cooling’s team of air conditioning experts can answer any and all of your AC questions. Call (314) 845-5900 to speak to an AC professional today!

When AC Leaks Are Normal

The biggest difference between a normal and an abnormal AC leak is the amount and location of the liquid. On hot and humid days in the greater St. Louis area, the combination of warm air and cool air conditioner can lead to a puddle of condensation underneath the condenser unit. The water should dry up fairly quickly from the heat. If it seems that your leaks persist for more than a few days, it could be a sign that something is wrong. On the flip side, if it’s too cold outside and you’re still running your AC, it could freeze up the coils and also cause a leak. An easy fix to this would be to just turn off the unit if the outside temperatures drop below 60 degrees.

When to Bring In a Metro Cooling & Heating Pro

There are many components of your AC that could cause a leak. Your unit has something called an evaporator coil that cools the air from outside. Condensation then forms on the coil, drips into the drain pan, and is carried out of your house in a white PVC pipe—also known as the condensate drain line. Each of these parts could be the cause of your leak. Below we’ve listed the most common culprits of a leaky AC unit:

  • Blocked or clogged drain line: If the path for all that condensation exiting your home becomes blocked, a leakage will occur. If you have a wet/dry vacuum, you can give it a try. Otherwise, you should call a professional to remove the blockage with a special vacuum.
  • Damaged drain pan: Just like a cracked fishbowl or flower vase, a broken drain pan (which captures all the condensation) can lead to a leak. This part would need to be replaced as soon as possible. Drain pan issues are more common as your air conditioner gets older. Metro Cooling & Heating experts can help you find the right piece and install it for you!
  • Low refrigerant: Low refrigerant (the chemical responsible for keeping you cool) results in low pressure in your AC system. Low pressure causes the coils to freeze and then melt, overflowing the drain pan.

None of These Sound Right?

Sometimes the issue can be a little more particular. If your AC is in your basement, it could be the condensate pump that’s failing to carry the water outside. Or, if you haven’t replaced your air filter for years, it could be obstructing the air flow over the evaporator coil.

To be sure, and to possibly avoid replacing the entire unit years down the line, it’s a good idea to call a professional out to take a look. If you’re in the St. Louis or Fenton, MO area, Metro Heating & Cooling would be happy to swing by and check out your AC unit. Give us a call or fill out your contact information online to book your consultation today!




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