Noticing any type of liquid leaking from your air conditioner can be alarming. Functioning air conditioners have processes set up to prevent any kind of noticeable liquid drainage by homeowners, so clearly it’s time to panic, right? Don’t panic just yet! We’re here to help you through this inconvenience!
There are two different types of leaks that your AC can experience. Water and refrigerant leaks have very different signs and solutions, but both can cause problems for your system. Mission AC has some tips to help you identify if your leaking air conditioner is producing water or refrigerant and the actions you should take for both situations.
Is My AC Leaking Water?
Water leaks are common in air conditioners and are usually not emergencies. Water leaking from your AC unit is most often caused by disconnected or damaged drain lines. Condensation forms inside the unit during the air cooling process and is usually taken out of the system by the condensate drain line or collected in the drip pan. If these pieces are moved or damaged, water can begin leaking. To identify a water leak look for these signs:
- Standing Water – A puddle of water is a clear sign water is leaking and collecting on the floor. Sometimes the leak can be traced back to its source.
- Full Drip Pan – The drip pan that collects condensate water should not need to be emptied except rarely. If it fills often and must be emptied, you might have a water leak.
- Air Smell – If the air in your home begins to smell moldy or sour it could indicate a collection of water. Though it’s not emergent, it is still a good idea to fix the problem to prevent any bacteria growth that could harm you.
- Water Spots – Water spots near the unit, on the floor or on the fan indicate water leakage.
A water leak is not usually high risk, but the best option is to still get your unit checked out by a professional to prevent any future complications. Mission AC would be glad to find and repair your AC leak.
Is My AC Leaking Refrigerant?
Refrigerant in your AC unit is what allows your air to be cooled down. Without it, your system cannot function. More importantly, a leak of refrigerant can pose health concerns if not treated correctly. We’ve got the information you need to understand and safely deal with a refrigerant leak.
Common Signs of Refrigerant Leak
- AC Efficiency – If your AC begins taking longer to cool down your home, blows warm air or it feels like the airflow is lower than normal you could have a refrigerant leak. Also, if your home feels more humid, this is a sign your unit cannot filter out moisture and may have a leak.
- Increased Electric Bill – A leaking AC has to work extra hard to cool your home, which uses more energy and can cause a sudden spike in your electric bill. If your electricity consumption hasn’t changed and you still see a sudden increase in your bill, you may have a leak.
- Noises – The outdoor unit of your system may sound like hissing or bubbling noises are coming from it. This could be the leak from cracks or holes where the refrigerant circulates.
- Frozen Coils – If you’re handy enough to open your outdoor unit and check on your evaporator coils, frost or ice on the coils is a big indicator of a refrigerant leak.
Causes of Refrigerant Leak
- Metal Corrosion – Metal components in an AC unit can corrode. For example, copper tubes can crack or form holes, causing a leak.
- Wear and Tear – All the other pieces and parts inside an AC like joints, connections and seals can also wear down over time. The thinning of these barriers can cause a leak to happen.
- AC Faults – Your unit could have factory defaults that cause a leak to form. It could also be installed incorrectly.
Is Refrigerant Dangerous?
If your AC is leaking refrigerant, it is still not an emergency. The AC system will not perform correctly, but taking the time to call a professional HVAC technician is the best option.
One important thing to note is that you should always call a professional when dealing with a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant inside your AC is not harmful because it is contained in the correct manner, but if you attempt to handle it yourself it can be seriously dangerous. If you are exposed to refrigerant, either directly or indirectly, you may exhibit any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Lack of Coordination
- Lack of focus
- Skin Rashes
- Chemical Burns
If you suspect you have a refrigerant leak, be cautious and stay in an area where you cannot be exposed to it. A certified technician is trained in specific ways to handle refrigerants safely.
Need Your AC Leak Repaired?
Whether it’s water or refrigerant, Mission AC is ready to fix your leak. Our team is made up of experienced air conditioner repair technicians who can have your unit running in no time. For leaks and all other Houston AC services, call Mission AC!