“Why Is My AC Leaking Water Inside the House?” Jess in Rancho Cordova Asks an HVAC Expert

why is my ac leaking water inside the houseOur friend Jess in Rancho Cordova is getting more than he bargained for coming out of his air conditioner. Jess writes:

“Howdy, Bell Brothers. As I’m sure you’ve no doubt started to notice by now, the hot weather has returned to Northern California. It’s air conditioner season, so like the rest of my neighbors here in sunny Rancho Cordova, I closed up my windows and turned on my AC to start pumping that sweet, sweet cooled air into my house. Well, that’s when the problems started.

Cool air was not the only thing that my air conditioner started to pump in. I also started to regularly find a big pool of water coming out of the furnace room where the rest of my HVAC system is. Why is my AC leaking water inside the house, is this a problem that requires immediate attention, and, if so, what can I do to fix it? You guys are the cooling and pros. Really hoping you can help me out with this one!” – Jess

As most of you fine folks probably realized right away, Jess here is right: his air conditioner is supposed to be pumping out cool air, not cool water onto the floor of his home. Jess is in luck, though, because this is a problem that we in the HVAC repair business happen to see somewhat regularly. Strap yourselves in, though, because the answer is a little complex.

Why Is My AC Leaking Water Inside the House?

reasons your AC is leaking waterSimply put, the answer to why your AC is leaking water inside your house is that your unit contains something called an evaporator coil, which is designed to cool the warm air that is pulled in from outside and blown over it. Normally, this process also causes condensation to form on that coil.

Normally, that condensation drips into a drain pan and then down a condensate line and out of your home. When you have a leak, however, something has gone wrong at some point in that process. This is a pretty complex piece of machinery, so there isn’t any one answer to what exactly is not working, but there are three common ones.

The Top Causes of an AC Water Leak

As you no doubt ascertained above, the condensation process that happens inside your AC is a tricky one; there are a number of reasons that a leak could occur. Let’s take a quick look at the three most common ones:

  • A clogged condensate drain line: A clogged condensate drain line is easily the most common answer to the question of why my AC is leaking water inside my house. Any number of things could clog this line, from dust to dirt to mold. Once it gets clogged, water obviously can’t get out, and so it instead leaks into your home.
  • Low refrigerant: When the supply of refrigerant in your AC starts to get low, the evaporator coil has a tendency to freeze over because the pressure in the AC system drops. Then, when the system turns off and the pressure goes up again, the ice on that coil rapidly melts, turning back into water—water that leaks into your home. Now, I don’t think this is Jess’s probably because it usually also involves the AC unit not cooling well, but I think it’s worth mentioning because it is quite common for other homeowners.
  • A dirty filter: This is yet another example of why a clean filter is the HVAC MVP of summer, but a dirty air filter can block airflow to your evaporator coil, which causes it to get too cold and freeze over much like having low refrigerant does. When the AC later turns off, it again melts and leaks into your home. We typically recommend changing your filter once a month during summer, and every three months in the offseason. Or you can call in a local HVAC company to have them handle the filter changes so you don’t forget.

What to Do If Your AC Is Leaking Water into Your House

The answer to what you should do to stop the leak is pretty simple: Call in the pros. Just like you shouldn’t replace your AC unit yourself, you also shouldn’t try to fix your own leak. If your AC is leaking, it’s time to call in a professional HVAC repair technician. The evaporator coil and other equipment inside your air conditioning unit is complex stuff. If you try to fix it yourself or get someone who’s unqualified, your problem could very well get worse, and then the next thing you know you’re looking at buying a whole new AC. You don’t want to make that mistake—it’s a costly one.

And, of course, my advice is that you call the pros here at Bell Brothers. We have years and years of experience serving Sacramento and the surrounding cities like Rancho Cordova. Needless to say, we’ve fixed a leaky air conditioner or two.

With Bell Brothers on your side, you can rest assured that the work will get done right, and that your air conditioner will go back to putting out cold air—and only cold air—in no time. Then you can get back to relaxing in your home without having to worry that you’ll make a wrong move and get your socks soaked in a puddle!

At Bell Brothers, our trained HVAC professionals would be delighted to help you fix an AC unit that has started to leak water into your house. We can also help make your home more energy-efficient by cleaning and sealing up your leaky ductwork. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Wondering how to finance a new HVAC—or even a furnace or window upgrade? HERO is a unique financing option that helps California homeowners afford energy efficient upgrades to their home. Contact Bell Brothers, a HERO-approved contractor, to learn more. Our local HVAC, plumbing, and window specialists will walk you through the entire process, from applications to installation.

Image courtesy AndreyPopov