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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

Is My Air Conditioning System Leaking?


You know when you see water dripping out of the water heater in your home, it means trouble. But what does it mean when you see liquid dripping out of the air conditioner? Is that normal? Do you have an emergency repair situation?

We’re going to look closer at the idea of the “leaking air conditioner” (spoiler: it may not be what you think it is) and what it might mean. You may need to have air conditioning repair in Sherman Oaks, CA to deal with the problem, so when in doubt, call our expert technicians to diagnose what’s wrong and have it fixed.

Condensation Trouble

Water dripping from the air conditioning cabinet indoors often means something is wrong with the condensate drainage system in the AC. The water you’re seeing is moisture the air conditioner has drawn out of the air during the cooling cycle. The evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air blown past it to cool it down, and as the refrigerant evaporates, it also causes air moisture to condense along the coil. The water then drips down into a condensate pan below, and a pump pulls the water through a drain and releases it outside. This is why you occasionally heat water dripping inside the AC.

The drainage system can malfunction, like any other part of the air conditioner. If algal growth starts in the condensate drain, it won’t take long for the pan (which is only about an inch deep) to overflow. Your AC should shut off automatically when this occurs as it trips a limit switch. If you see water dripping from the AC cabinet, and the system has shut off, you’ll need technicians to repair the condensate system.

If the AC continues to run, the trouble may be that the drain has broken away from the pan, and water is dripping out of the gap in the condensate pan.

The Furnace Concern

A leaking air conditioner poses an additional problem. Most homes have the AC and furnace in one cabinet, with the CA coils above the furnace heat exchanger. Water dripping onto the heat exchanger can risk starting corrosion, which is a major problem for a furnace. Another reason to have a leaking AC fixed fast.

The Other Leaking Air Conditioner

It’s possible your air conditioning system isn’t leaking water at all. It’s leaking liquid refrigerant. Refrigerant often escapes in gas form, but the liquid form can also leak from holes in the lines. Loss of refrigerant charge is a serious problem for an air conditioning system—it doesn’t only mean a drop in performance, it will eventually lead to major damage and a burnt-out compressor. When you have any doubts about your AC, don’t hesitate to call for repairs. Only experienced technicians can seal refrigerant leaks and then recharge to the AC to its proper levels.

No matter what you need for air conditioning help, we’re here to serve.

Call our certified service technicians 24/7 for exceptional customer service! Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical serves Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

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