When it’s humid out — so most of the time, here in Flemington — a cool glass of water quickly creates a soggy mess as the humidity condenses on the outside of the glass. It might be annoying and leave water rings on the table, but otherwise that’s no big deal. When your air conditioner does the same thing, however, that’s a bit more concerning. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to see a little bit of condensation around your A/C, but it generally is a bad thing if you see larger puddles of liquid. Here’s what you need to understand about when to be concerned for your air conditioner and when the moisture is normal:
It’s totally normal to have a bit of condensation build up on your air conditioning unit. Think of it like that glass of cold water growing condensation on a hot, humid day; the same thing happens when warm air hits the cooler evaporator coil. That’s why there are typically a drain pan and pipe to catch and drain away condensation that collects.
However, since there’s often a bit of water dripping out of the condensate drain line, it is prone to growing mold and mildew. Any dust or spores that are in the air when the warm air hits the cold evaporator coils will collect with the condensing water and make its way down the drain pipe. Over time, the small particles of gunk can build up, and mold can grow, eventually clogging up the pipe and generating puddles/leaks around your indoor air conditioning unit. If that’s the only source of moisture, cleaning out the pipe will clear up the leak.
Other Sources of Moisture
There’s a lot of moisture involved in an air conditioning system, so condensation isn’t going to be the only source of moisture. One of the other major leak causes is one to be a lot more concerned about. Refrigerant leaks are also common, especially if there is a break somewhere in one of the lines. When your refrigerant levels are too low, the refrigerant can actually freeze over, block the line, and possibly even damage your exterior A/C unit. It’s important to always have leaks around your A/C unit (inside and outside components) checked because if it is a refrigerant issue, letting your system continue to run may cause enough damage that you’ll have to replace your entire system.
You likely also have a condensate pump that runs from the indoor portion of your A/C system to the outdoor portion. If the pump malfunctions, you may see leaks form around the indoor portion of the system because the pump isn’t working to push water through the lines to the exterior part of the system.
A/C Repair or Not?
If you’re unsure where a leak is coming from, the best thing to do is turn off your system and call a professional to make sure the leak wasn’t created by damage. If you’re concerned about a leak, connect with Flemington’s heating and air conditioning repair team at Davis Heating and Cooling to schedule an inspection.