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Why Is Water Dripping From My AC?

water-dropletsWhen an air conditioner is running, it makes a number of sounds as part of its basic operation: the hum of the motors running the blower fans, the low whirring of the compressor when it starts a cooling cycle, the whoosh of air moving through the ductwork—and the sound of water dripping from the inside unit.

Why is there water in your air conditioning system in the first place? It’s part of the cooling cycle, but the AC is designed to keep this water from getting out of the cabinet and dripping into the house.

But no part of a central air conditioning system can operate 100% free of trouble 100% of the time. When you see water dripping from the indoor cabinet of the AC, you’ll need to call for central AC repair in Staten Island, NY right away.

Why Water Is in the Air Conditioner

The standard central air conditioner doesn’t use water to cool the air. There’s a type of cooling system called an evaporative cooler or swamp cooler that operates this way, but you don’t see those often where we live. Your air conditioner cools air using a chemical refrigerant that circulates through a set of coils. When the cold refrigerant in the indoor coil evaporates, it causes moisture in the air to condense along the coil as the refrigerant absorbs heat. It’s similar to what you see with a cold glass of liquid.

This water, called condensate, has to go somewhere. It drips from the evaporator coil and falls into a shallow pan, and then is pumped out through a drain and drain line until it’s deposited outside. This is the condensate system of the air conditioner—and if something goes wrong with it, you may see water dripping from the AC.

What Can Go Wrong With the Condensate System

Here are a few of the more common malfunctions in the condensate system that will cause water leaks:

  • The drain or drain line is clogged up. Algal growth is usually what creates these clogs. The drain will then backup, and the water will overflow from the shallow pan, which is only an inch deep. Not only will water drip from the cabinet, but the overflow will trip a limit switch that will cause the thermostat to go blank and the air conditioner to stop working.
  • The motor in the condensate pump might burnout, and this will cause a similar problem where water backs up in the condensate pan.
  • Corrosion can cause the drain to break loose from the pan. Water will drip right out of the pan and out of the cabinet.

No matter what’s caused the leaking water, you need to have it repaired. Dripping water will cause water damage in your house and will increase the likelihood of mold and mildew in the AC. It will also likely cause the air conditioner to stop running, if it hasn’t already.

Our technicians can handle the work to fix these leaky AC problems. We’ll get to the bottom of the problem and have it repaired.

Bob Mims Heating & Air Conditioning has served Staten Island’s Heating and A/C needs since 1955. Call us for great AC repairs.

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