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Why is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water? | Fred's Home Services Blog

Why is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

Why is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

Now that summer is ramping up and temperatures are too, you’re likely using your air conditioner most days. You could be noticing more water than usual coming from your air conditioning unit. Just how much water is OK? And what are some reasons that you might be seeing excessive water leakage? Let’s get into the details.

How Much Water is Too Much?

If you’re only seeing a small amount of condensation that quickly evaporates, that is completely normal for a well-functioning air conditioning unit. And remember that the hotter the temperatures, the longer the system runs, and the more condensation and drainage you will see. But if you aren’t regularly using the system and routinely seeing a puddle of water accumulate, or if the water leak continues for more than 24 hours, then there is a definite problem that needs to be addressed. 

Top Reasons for a Leaking Air Conditioner

There are many reasons why your AC unit could be leaking more water than normal, but we’re going to address the most common ones here. 

1. Clogged condensate drain

This line helps to move collected water away from the unit, but mold, algae, fungi, rust, dirt, or pollen can also enter the line. When they mix with water they form a thick substance that can either partially or completely block the drain line. That would then cause water to back up and the unit would appear to be leaking. 


Regular flushing with a cleaning agent and routine filter changing can help to prevent this common cause of AC leakage. It’s also possible to add a secondary drain line, which is key when the unit is not easily accessible or located in an attic or another area that’s prone to dust and debris.

2. Cold outdoor temperatures

If it’s below 60º outside, it isn’t recommended to run your air conditioning. The refrigerants used in your AC unit aren’t designed to work well in lower temperatures, so internal pressure drops and the system has to work harder to pump these solutions throughout the unit. When outside temperatures are 60º or lower, refrigerant can reach a freezing point, leading evaporator coils to ice over. As the ice melts, the AC unit appears to be leaking. 


If the weather shifted and it’s now cool outside but inside your home it feels too warm, there are some things you can do to make it more comfortable:

  • Utilize “Fan mode” – your air conditioning system will redistribute air throughout the home and can help to eliminate hot spots
  • Use a ceiling fan – circulating air makes a space feel cooler and helps to eliminate pockets of warm air; blades should be turning counterclockwise
  • Open a window – if weather allows, this is a simple solution that could help to relieve any localized warm air without taxing your HVAC system

If you just moved into a home or the home is older, it could be that there is simply insufficient airflow to the problem area. Our team can do a thorough assessment of your HVAC system and ductwork and devise a plan to fix the issue so you can be comfortable at home this summer without unnecessarily taxing your air conditioning unit.

3. Disconnected drain line

Whether due to improper installation or just the effects of time and use, it is entirely possible that your air conditioner’s drain line could come loose. Clearly, this would cause water to leak and pool. 


Make sure that fittings are secure and reattach if necessary. If the situation is more complicated, such as when the central AC system is located in the attic, feel free to call our professional team for help to find the best solution.

4. Broken condensate pump

This pump moves excess water away from the condenser pan and allows the system to function efficiently. If it becomes clogged or dirty due to mold or other substances, it can malfunction and allow water to collect or pool. In this instance it is generally best to first try cleaning the pump, and then resorting to repair or replacement. The condensate pump is a vital piece of equipment and without it your overall system could sustain damage that might lead to costly repairs. 


Troubleshoot to check your condensate pump’s status:

  • Turn the power off to your air conditioning unit and condensate pump
  • Check that the float is not stuck, cracked, or otherwise damaged
  • Remove the pump’s outer housing and use warm, soapy water to clean the entire unit
  • Replace the pump and its housing and turn the system back on

If things still aren’t right, replacement is the next step. Give our offices a call and we can send out a technician to help.

5. Low refrigerant levels

If the refrigerant in your AC system is low, it will reduce overall pressure and can cause the evaporator coils to freeze over, leading to an overflowing drain pan and water leakage. 


Since refrigerant can be a dangerous substance if not handled correctly, addressing low levels is a job best left to the pros.

6. Dirty air filter

Dirty filters will restrict airflow and the evaporator coils will not have enough ventilation to operate efficiently. Much like with low refrigerant levels, insufficient air flow will lead to frozen evaporator coils, melting ice, an overflowing drip pan, and the appearance of water leakage.


Regularly scheduled filter changing is key, as well as additional periodic checks to ensure it isn’t clogging up earlier than normal. If you need help locating the right filter for your HVAC system, we can help.

If you’ve already done troubleshooting and know that these common scenarios aren’t the culprit, it’s time to give Fred’s Home Services a call. Our expert HVAC technicians are your go-to for Cleveland air conditioner repair, and they can quickly get your home cool and comfortable again!

Reliable Cleveland Air Conditioner Repair from Fred’s Home Services

At Fred’s Home Services our clients’ comfort is paramount. We feel that everyone should be able to enjoy the ideal comfort level in their own home. So when your air conditioning unit is causing problems and threatening the comfort of your indoor space, give us a call! We are your Cleveland air conditioner repair specialists and are always ready to tackle leaks and other issues, from common to complex. While speaking with our staff, ask about our routine maintenance plan. With regular checks we can generally find air conditioner leaks before they escalate, avoiding the inconvenience and discomfort they can bring.

Visit our website to fill out a contact form or call us directly to set up an appointment and discuss your specific service needs. We look forward to hearing from you and helping to restore comfortable temperatures in your home!

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The email address and phone numbers are good ways to reach me