air conditioner leaking through ceiling

Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Indoors?

An indoor leak is one of the most obvious signs that something is wrong with your AC unit, and the first step toward fixing the problem is identifying the cause of the leak. Here are three reasons why your air conditioner may be leaking.

1. Cracked Drain Pan

Your air conditioner’s indoor unit creates condensation during the cooling process, and that moisture (or condensate) collects in a drain pan. Old drain pans can become rusty and brittle, which increases their risk of cracking or breaking. Even tiny cracks can lead to noticeable leaks. During regular maintenance and cleaning, your technician can check for any signs of a damaged drain pan and let you know if yours should be replaced.

2. Clogged Condensate Drain Line

The moisture that collects in the drain pan (mentioned above) should exit to the outdoors through a pipe called the condensate drain line. However, mold, dirt, and other debris can clog up the line. When enough water builds up in the pipe, it can leak into your home instead of making its way outside. The easiest way to solve this problem is to clear the clog in your condensate line. You can prevent clogs in the future with annual AC maintenance.

3. Ice on the Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil should be cold enough to remove the heat from the indoor air. If it gets too cold, though, ice or frost can form over it. Then, as the ice melts, it can flood over the drain pan and leak into your house. Inadequate airflow is the most common reason why ice forms on the evaporator coil. The typical culprit behind low airflow is a dirty, dust-clogged air filter.

Another possible cause for ice on the evaporator coil is low levels of refrigerant. This can lower the pressure in the AC unit, which decreases the temperature of the evaporator coil. Low refrigerant is usually a sign of a refrigerant leak, so you must contact a professional if you believe this is the case. Refrigerant can be a poisonous substance, so a leak needs to be handled by experts.

An indoor leak from your AC unit typically means that something is clogged, broken, or worn out. Fortunately, in many cases, repairs are relatively simple and straightforward as long as you don't wait for the issue to escalate. The sooner you call an HVAC professional, the easier it will be to fix the problem.

For fair and reliable AC services in Northern Virginia, don’t hesitate to contact our team at HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited to learn how we can help you. Give us a call at (703) 454-5040 or use our online contact form today.