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How to Fix an AC Water Leak

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You come home and notice that your air conditioner isn't cooling your home all that effectively. You head over to the AC unit, figuring that you may have to replace the air filter or something. That's when you spot it. A puddle of water surrounds the system. Great, you think, now I've got to call someone to fix an AC water leak? What next? What's next is taking a minute to step back and consider the way in which your air conditioning system operates.

Aside from evaporative coolers, which are not really used in this area, air conditioning systems don't actually utilize water in the cooling process. Great, you're thinking, now I've got an AC blog telling me that I'm hallucinating? What next? What's next is stepping back, trusting that we don't think you're losing it, and reading the following information closely. You'll learn what may be causing this leak, and when to call for air conditioning services in West Hartford, CT.

How Refrigerant Based Systems Cool

A gas furnace or oil boiler consumes fuel in its operation, combusting that fuel to generate new heat. An AC uses electricity to run, but it doesn't consume fuel to generate new "coolness." That coolness you feel is simply an absence of heat, as your air conditioner removes heat from the air in your home. It does so by evaporating refrigerant.

As the refrigerant evaporates in the evaporator coil, it draws heat out of the air. That refrigerant then goes out to the condenser coil, where it releases its heat into the air outside. The process continues until your home is cool and comfortable. But what does this have to do with that water leak?

It's Not Really a Water "Leak," but It Could Be the Result of a Refrigerant Leak!

No, it's not refrigerant that you see on the floor. That is indeed water. However, it's not leaking out of a pipe or anything. Instead, it could be the result of ice melting off of the evaporator coil, and that could be the result of a refrigerant leak. If the system is low on refrigerant, the coil may get cold enough to freeze condensation collected on it. Then, that ice can melt off. Fixing the leak immediately protects your comfort and can prevent serious damage to the system.

You May Just Need a New Air Filter or Drain Pan, Though

A refrigerant leak is a very serious problem, but you can always check for simple fixes before you contact us to schedule service. It may be something as simple as changing out a very dirty air filter, after all. If your filter is too dirty, it can restrict airflow to the point that the coil gets too cold and causes much the same problem that a refrigerant leak would.

You may also need to fix a misaligned condensate drain pan or clean out the condensate drain line. That condensation dripping off of the evaporator coil needs to be piped away from the system, and the drain pan/drain line handles this job. At least, it does when everything is working properly.

Live more comfortably, choose Dynamic Mechanical.

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