Why Is My AC Leaking Water?

Learn about HVAC & Home Performance in Houston.

Photo of AC Leakage

April 5, 2023

Air Conditioning

Air conditioning is essential to the average Texan. It is humid here most of the year. 

If you notice that your air conditioner is leaking water, you should call for an expert technicians for AC maintenance and service right away. If you call House Pro, will have a qualified HVAC contractor to your home in a hurry. Our trained and licensed techs know just what to look for when it comes to leaks. If you need air conditioning replacement, they can help you with that too.

Before you give us a call to make your appointment, you may be curious to know a few of the reasons that an air conditioner may be leaking. It is important to understand the basic workings of an air conditioner first.

When you think of how air conditioners work, you may think that it works when you turn on the thermostat. That may be where the magic begins, but there is much more to it than that.

The process begins when you set the thermostat to the desired temperature and the thermostat gauges that the temperature in a room must be lowered. It signals the AC to begin running. The indoor unit’s fan pulls hot air from the interior of the house through the air ducts. This air travels into the filters and pollutants are captured. 

The air travels over a cold evaporator coil. There is liquid refrigerant inside this coil that converts into a gas. As this process happens, the heat from inside the building is absorbed by the refrigerant. With all that heat removed the air is cooled. A blower fan will pump the cooled air into the ducts of the interior of the building and you will feel cool.

Gas from the refrigerant exits the home via a tube and moves into the compressor in the outside unit. The refrigerant is pressurized in the compressor into gas. It travels to the condenser coil of the outdoor unit. Outdoor air is pulled through the condenser coil with the assistance of a fan. The air from the home is released outside. 

The refrigerant returns to its liquid state. It goes back inside through a copper tube. It expands again and the process starts again.

The Condensate Drain Line Is Clogged

A clogged condensate drain line can cause your air conditioner to leak. A condensation line allows water to drain outside of a building. If the line is clogged, it will back up and leak inside the house.

When indoor air circulates through an air conditioners’ evaporator coils, airborne particles can get trapped and build up as condensation drains off of the coil. It may eventually become built up in the drain line. 

Our technicians will thoroughly inspect the lines. They will remove debris from the condensate drain to get things working again. If you have us out for maintenance once or twice a year, we will clear the drain lines then as well.

If your home has a musty or moldy smell near the air conditioner or you see standing water near the air conditioner, the line may be clogged. If the AC is not cooling your house or it simply shuts down in the middle of running, this is a good sign that the condensation drain line is clogged.

Broken Condensate Pump

The condensate drain pump is a component inside the condensate pan that forces the moisture that is produced by an ac system through a drain line. If it breaks, it can cause your AC unit to leak. 

The pump may break because it has been improperly repaired or it simply got old. It may also happen because it was not installed correctly. If it causes your drain line to disconnect, water may leak.

Your AC Is Low on Refrigerant

In some cases, an air conditioner may start leaking because it does not have enough refrigerant. If the refrigerant is low, there is not enough pressure inside your air conditioning unit. Refrigerant levels inside an air conditioner never change. It simply travels across the coils from inside and outside the home. It cannot evaporate, but it can leak.

Photo of Air Conditioner Repair

The Drain Pan Is Rusted 

An air conditioner works by removing condensation and heat from the air in your home. A condensate pan catches all of the moisture. It helps move the liquid to the outside of your home. 

Because of constantly being filled with liquid, the drain pan is going to rust after a while. It will eventually get holes in it and leak. It takes a few tools and quite a bit of time to change a drain pan. It is best to let our technicians handle the task.

The Filter Is Dirty

Most air filters need to be changed every month or so. If not, they can become clogged and block airflow. This will make your AC system work harder. It can also make your ac unit freeze. This happens when the coil gets too cold. There will be ice in the air conditioner and when it melts, there will be a leak. Fortunately, this is very easy to fix; all you have to do is change your filter.

Steps to Take if Your AC is Leaking Water

  1. As soon as you notice that your air conditioner is leaking, you should turn off your air conditioner. As with any piece of electronic equipment, you want to turn off the machine before you start poking around in it.
  2. Mop up all the water around the air conditioning unit so you can work.
  3. Take the grill of the air conditioner off and look around for any obvious leaks with a flashlight. You may be able to see a leak that you can patch or a hose that has become loose that you may be able to tighten. 
  4. Change the filter, even if it doesn’t look that dirty. It may solve the problem. You should also make sure that the air filter frame is securely fastened to the air conditioning unit. If the air conditioning frame is not properly secured, the filter will not be able to do its job properly.
  5. Check the drain pan to see if it has any cracks in it. If you have some time on your hands, you may be able to clean the pan. If condensation is flowing over in the drain pan, the drain lines are clogged.

When Do You Need to Seek Professional Help?

If changing the air filter and cleaning the drain pan does not work, you should call a professional HVAC company. If your air conditioner is under 10 years old, a professional technician should be able to fix the problem.

Air conditioners may work on a fairly simple concept. However, they require skill to fix. If you try to fix your HVAC unit yourself, you may end up causing more of a problem than you had in the first place.

There are a lot of small parts and you will need special tools. Working with electronics can be very hazardous. The HVAC professionals at House Pro are trained in safety. Our technicians are all licensed by the state of Texas. We have been in business for over 20 years and we are committed to helping you. 

Photo of Air Conditioning Fan

What Sets House Pro Apart?

Everyone in Texas has air conditioning. Therefore, there are an awful lot of HVAC maintenance and repair companies out there. You may wonder why you should choose a reliable Houston HVAC technician from House Pro instead of any of the other companies out there. For one thing, we have been in business for over 20 years. We know the specific problems that HVAC systems endure in the Lone Star State.

There are an awful lot of air conditioning repair companies in the Houston area that can handle basic air conditioning repair. However, you would be surprised at how many homes have air conditioners that do not work right because they are improperly installed. House Pro specializes in both installations and repairs. We can reinstall your current unit so it will work better or we can put in a state-of-the-art AC unit

Our prices are fair because we know how important keeping cool is to a person in a hot climate. A non-working air conditioning system can even be dangerous to people who have health problems or are elderly. 

Remember to Get Regular Maintenance 

It is very important to get your HVAC system an annual tune-up. Since you live in Houston, you may even want to get it done bi-annually. We use our air conditioners all year long and there is a lot that can go wrong when you use your air conditioner every day. Houston has notoriously poor air quality. Ozone pollution accounts for most of it. It is important to have your HVAC system working properly and to change your filters often. It is also important to have your duct system cleaned out regularly. 

You should bear in mind that not all air filters are created equally. Air filter quality is determined by minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV ratings.) The higher a filter’s MERV rating is the smaller the particles it will be able to capture. Most homes should have a filter with a MERV rating between 8 and 16.


How much will it cost to repair my air conditioner? 

Every situation is different, but if you call us, we can give you a free estimate. We always want to give you the best service possible for the lowest price.

How long should my air conditioner last?

The air conditioning manufacturer can give you the best idea. However, a well-maintained air conditioner should last around 10 years.

How do you determine the size of the AC unit I should have? 

Many factors determine the proper size of an air conditioning unit. We will look at the average climate of the area you live in as well as the square footage of your home. We will also take the number of windows and doors you have in your home into consideration. The material your windows are made out of may even be taken into consideration. 

Whether you are looking for air conditioning repair, maintenance, or installation of a new ac, House Pro will be there to help. Call us today for a free consultation.