Quick and Easy Fixes for a Leaky Air Conditioner

by Editor on September 3, 2013

Screwing Out

With the dog days of summer upon us and temperatures still in the triple digits, the cool breezes of fall are a bit hard to imagine. And if you’re like most people, the last thing you want to suffer is a sleepless night because of the stifling heat in your house. All too soon the long days of summer will be a distant memory as the crisp, biting air of fall brings frost and a hint of the winter to come. But for now all you can think about is sticking your head in the ice box for a moment’s respite. Of course, your AC unit can come to the rescue, filling your home with the cold air you crave and even sucking up humidity to create an interior climate that is cool and comfortable. It will come at no small expense, though, especially if your air conditioner should spring a leak, causing water damage to your home. So here are just a few quick fixes that will ensure you have a reprieve from the heat without a lot of extra work down the road.

The first thing you should do when you’re running the AC day and night is check your equipment regularly. A simple inspection will let you know if leakage is occurring. And there are two potential causes. For one thing, there could be condensation forming on the unit itself and dripping onto whatever lies below. Or your machinery might be set up with a dehumidifying function by which it pulls moisture from the air and basically disposes of it. Either way, the quickest fix for dripping water is to install a drain pan and see that it is emptied as needed to ensure that it doesn’t overflow.

On the other hand, a drip tray may not be enough. If your AC unit is pulling water from the air, it might be more than a drip tray can handle, especially if you live in a particularly humid climate. In this case your system probably employs a pump of some sort. And if the leak is occurring here, there could be a couple of reasons. If the machinery is housed above-ground, say in an attic or at the main floor level, it probably has some sort of simple drain setup to carry the water down and away from the unit. If this is leaking, chances are that the drain has become overtaxed or perhaps clogged, in which case you may need professional help to diagnose and fix the problem.

However, if your unit is located below ground level, say in the basement, it likely has a pump to take water up and away since in cannot be drained normally. If this is leaking, you could have a much bigger problem on your hands and you’ll almost certainly want professional help. However, you can install an alarm that will go off when the pump malfunctions, warning you before any water damage can occur. And if you’re worried about an incident when you’re away, you could install a sensor with a shut-off switch that powers down your AC unit in case of rising water level. If you want to know¬†why air conditioners leak water, the truth is that there could be several reasons. But with some easy fixes and a little professional help on your side, you should be able to stave off leaks and the damage they can cause to your home.

photo by: Wootang01

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