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Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog

Fixing an AC Water Leak

red-thermometerA heating system like a gas furnace or an old oil boiler creates new heat by combusting fuel. An air conditioner, on the other hand, doesn’t create new “coolness”. That coolness that you feel as the AC circulates cooled air throughout your home is actually the lack of heat. How does an air conditioner remove heat from the air in your home? Through the evaporation of refrigerant.

At no point in the process does an air conditioner (with the exception of an evaporative cooler) use water in its operation. So how is it that you’ve noticed water leaking from your air conditioner? Are you seeing things that aren’t there? Fortunately, no. It is entirely possible for water to be “leaking” from your AC. However,  it is not really a “leak” in the terms that you’re thinking of. Read on to learn more about this phenomenon, its causes, and when to schedule air conditioning repair in Cincinnati, OH.

Wait, How Does Refrigerant Remove Heat?

The refrigerant in your air conditioning system removes heat through its evaporation in the indoor evaporator coil. As it evaporates, heat is drawn out of the air. The refrigerant is then condensed in the outdoor condenser coil. That cycle repeats over and over until desired temperatures are met in your home. So why is this important in terms of water leaking out of your AC?

It Could Be a Refrigerant Leak!

And if it is, then you definitely need to schedule air conditioning repairs right away. But wait, aren’t we talking about water leaks? Yes, but it ties into refrigerant leaks. If your system is low on refrigerant, then the evaporator coil can get way too cold as it fails to remove heat from the air effectively.

That can lead to ice developing on the coil as condensation collected on it freezes up. As it melts off, you can wind up with water on the floor. Run an AC that’s low on refrigerant long enough, and you may wind up with irrevocable damage done to the system.

It May Not Be That Serious, Though

A very dirty air filter can really restrict airflow throughout your system, and can cause the same symptoms that a refrigerant leak can. This is obviously not as serious a problem to fix, though. You simply need to replace the air filter with a fresh one. They’re cheap, and swapping the filter out is quite simple.

You could also have a damaged or misaligned condensate drain pan/drain line. That condensation that is drawn out of the air as it cools has to go somewhere. It drains out of the system via this drain assembly. If the drain is not functioning properly due to blockages or damage, then it will wind up all over the floor. Check to make sure that everything is lined up, and try pouring a cleaning solution down the drain to free up water flow. Contact a member of our team with any questions that you may have.

Schedule your AC services with Bartels Heating & Cooling.

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