If you’ve noticed water dripping from your air conditioning system, you might be a little confused. AC units don’t use water, right? That’s absolutely true, but water can form as a result of the evaporation and condensation processes occurring inside the ducts.
So, if you do spot a leak, rest assured it’s nothing to do with your mains water supply. It’s a problem that requires attention, but it’s unlikely to cause damage in the short term.
Where Does the Water in My AC Come From?
Stand close to the ducts on a quiet day and you can probably hear faint sounds of water dripping inside your air conditioning unit. This occurs when water in the air condenses and turns back into liquid as it hits the cold temperatures in the ducts.
The cold refrigerant in the system’s coil takes in heat and humid air in a similar way to a dehumidifier. It outputs cooled, dry air and the excess water drips into a collection tray and gets safely deposited outside your home.
What Causes Leaks In AC Systems?
The most common cause of AC leaks is a faulty collection tray or dysfunctional drainage component. If the tray cracks or the pump that takes the excess water away breaks down, liquid may start to leak out of the ducts.
Other problems include a corroded drain or a drain that is clogged with debris and/or grime. Even a small clog can cause the water collection tray to overspill because it’s normally quite shallow (about one inch deep).
What Should I Do About An AC Leak?
Your AC isn’t connected to your mains water supply, so a leak here isn’t as damaging as traditional pipe leaks. However, they still require prompt attention and repairs. If left unaddressed, water may eventually leak into the surrounding walls.
So, it’s important to fix the issue as quickly as possible. Depending on the placement of the system, there’s a chance leaks might affect things like the house’s furnace.
Unless you’re an electrician, it’s best to leave repairs to the experts. Professional HVAC technicians can find the source of leaks fast and repair the element or component that’s responsible for the issue.