Spring has sprung, and it’s a good time to service your air conditioning unit before the temperatures rise here in Charleston, SC! One obnoxious issue you’re likely aware of is when your AC unit begins to leak water, leaving a puddle around your unit or on the ceiling and floor. Catching these issues earlier is better since your system is likely working overtime when summertime arrives and will help prevent damage to your home. Your HVAC unit may have other hidden issues you are probably unaware of, so being on the lookout for other problems may save you heartburn, stress, and anxiety in the middle of the summer.
There are some easy fixes on this list, but the more severe problems may require the help of a licensed HVAC contractor like Smoak’s Comfort Control. We’ll talk about the hidden dangers of a leaky AC unit when it’s time to call in the professionals and how a company like ours can help you start the warm season off on the right foot.
5 Common HVAC Problems
Here are several reasons why your AC unit might be leaking:
Dirty Air Filters
An old, dirty air filter is the most common cause of a leaky AC unit. A dirty filter can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up and lead to excess water dripping from the unit. Depending on how often you use the system, replacing your air filter should be done every month to every few months. It’s imperative to check the filter at the beginning of the warmer months to avoid creating additional issues within the unit.
Clogged Condensate Drain Line
The condensate drain line removes excess water that is created during the cooling process. A clogged drain line means the water backs ups into the unit instead and begins leaking out. Keep the drain line clear of any blockages by using a wet/dry vacuum to remove any dust or dirt that has built up in the unit and prevent future blockages by adding 1 cup of warm water and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar to the drain line.
Here’s where it gets tricky: refrigerant leaks. An AC refrigerant leak can cause the pressure in the AC unit to drop, making the evaporator coil freeze and begin to drip water. It also makes your unit stop cooling and raises your electricity bill as you spend more and more money to keep your home comfortable. Calling a professional like Smoak’s to look at your HVAC system is important in this scenario, as repairing this line is not your weekend DIY fix. Also, refrigerant is dangerous if not handled properly by a well-trained and equipped HVAC professional.
Damaged, Disconnected, or Rusted Drain Pan
Another job for the professionals is a damaged or disconnected drain pan, which can cause your HVAC unit to leak and puddle. This component collects excess water and directs it to the condensate drain line, where it drips out of the unit, and even a crack in the pan can cause leaking. Reattaching or replacing the pan can be a hassle, so getting the help of a professional is your best bet and can save you money in the long run.
Properly installing your HVAC unit is essential for maintaining the integrity of the system, and an incorrect installation can mean that your unit is prone to leaking water. Due to improper placement or a failed installation of the condensate drain line, the system becomes predisposed to more issues and can leave you paying for the damage. If you’re done troubleshooting and are still unsure how the leak is happening, it’s possible that your unit was improperly installed and may need to be adjusted. To get the job done right, hire an HVAC contractor you can trust, like Smoak’s Comfort Control, to help you get through the entire process.
Is the Leak Toxic?
Luckily, the water coming from the leak in your unit generally isn’t toxic and is more of a nuisance than anything. Over time, however, the leak may cause mold growth, weak flooring, and an unpleasant smell. Water leaks can also cause electrical fires, as the water acts as a conductor and can overload your circuit. While the latter two are examples of costly damage, mold, and mildew can cause serious health complications if left untreated.
When to Call a Professional HVAC Contractor
While some repairs can be addressed on your own, more complicated issues that threaten the efficiency or lifespan of your HVAC system are better left up to the professionals, such as Smoak’s Comfort Control. Our helpful, friendly, and dependable HVAC experts are ready to help you diagnose and fix any issues you might be facing with your unit. We have home and business owners in Charleston and the surrounding areas covered from leaks and repairs to system upgrades and replacements!
Expert HVAC Assistance in Charleston, SC
If you’ve noticed water leaking from your AC unit, don’t panic—it’s not too late. A little drip might not seem like too much to worry about, but over a long period, the effects can be costly and become a risk to the safety of your home. Fortunately, some easy fixes you can do yourself can help prevent this issue. Because leaking water is such a common issue for AC units, HVAC professionals are well-trained in remedying them. When facing more complex cases, having a professional HVAC contractor assess the problem before mold growth, weak flooring, and even electrical fires become possible. Smoak’s Comfort Control can diagnose and fix any issues you might face, ensuring you start the warm season off on the right foot.
If you’re located in the Charleston, South Carolina, area and are experiencing issues with your AC unit leaking water, consider contacting Smoak’s Comfort Control today. We’re a reputable and experienced HVAC contractor servicing the Tri-County area since 1972. Our HVAC professionals can diagnose and repair a wide range of issues with your AC unit early, before the head of the summer sets in.