If you live in Rockford, MI, you understand that summers can be humid, with temperatures hovering around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The last thing you want to experience is an issue with your air conditioner in the hottest season. If you notice a leaking AC, you have a severe problem that requires immediate attention. Since the AC is a complex electrical appliance with many components, there can be numerous reasons for the leak.
While you can do some superficial investigations for possible causes, hiring experts from Bel-Aire Heating & Cooling will help determine the root cause of the leak. Moreover, we will expedite the repairs to restore your AC to its usual functionalities before you start experiencing other problems such as mold infestation. Continue reading to find out possible reasons and what you can do to correct a leaking AC.
Low Refrigerant Level
The refrigerant is a chemical compound that helps in heat transfer in the evaporator coils of your AC. The element quickly changes from low-pressure gas to high-pressure liquid after heat absorption. It also reverses its form from liquid to gas when cooled in minutes, hence, its popularity in AC units.
When the refrigerant volume is low, the pressure inside the coils decreases, causing the gas to cool further. It is not long until the coil freezes, making the water droplets formed on it become ice. The icing prevents heat exchanges from hindering cooling processes. Scraping the ice or melting it is never a solution. For this reason, you need to hire an expert from Bel-Aire Heating & Cooling to correct the problem.
The possible reasons for leaking refrigerant could be loose connectors or damaged copper coils. You may notice a hissing or bubbling sound if the refrigerant is leaking. You may also notice a sweet fragrance around the AC unit.
If you installed the AC before 2011, chances are it uses the R-22 Freon. The chemical eats away metal over time and may contribute to the leak. Freon has dangerous health effects if handled poorly and damages the ozone layer. That being the case, contact Bel-Aire Heating & Cooling for proper handling, repair, refill, or replacement of the refrigerant.
Broken Condensate Line
In our experience of excellent service delivery to residents of Rockford, we can pinpoint clogged drain lines as the most common reason for AC leaks. The blowers direct hot, humid air toward chilled evaporator coils during the dehumidification process. Moisture forms on the evaporator and drips on the drain tray, leading the condensate to the drain line. The pipe directs water outside for removal. However, a block on the line reverses water back to the drain pan and overflows from the AC.
The blocked drain line is a common phenomenon among residents of Rockford who ignore routine maintenance. The clogging is due to trapped debris, pet dander, hairs, dust, and other particles. You can restore the proper functionality of the drain line through cleaning. However, be aware that some cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can harm the health of your loved ones. Hiring an HVAC technician will help clean the drain without compromising indoor air quality or causing damage to the drain line.
The AC expels water outside via the drain line or the pump. The condensate pipe depends on gravity when the AC is above the main drain. Otherwise, the pump does the job in the basement, where the main drain is above the AC.
Generally, water flows from the drip tray down the condensate line into a reservoir tank. Once the tank is full, it pushes the float switch, which triggers the electric motors to pump the water outside. If the pump is faulty, it is impossible to activate the motor, making water overflow from the tank to the basement floor.
Common reasons for a faulty pump include:
- Clogged float switch
- Blocked hose drain
- Damaged motor
- Electrical failure
If you experience problems with the AC pump, call Bel-Aire Heating & Cooling for immediate repair.
Damaged Drain Pan
The drain pans or drip trays collect condensate from the evaporator coils for disposal. Typically, they are made of galvanized steel, polymers, and stainless steel. The polymer is made of plastic, and though it is effective in tackling microbes, it can easily break when mishandled. Stainless steel and galvanized steel are the most common in AC units due to their durability of about 25 and 15 years, respectively. Over time, the steel rusts, seeping water through the patches.
A rusty or broken drain pan will leak water to other parts of the AC and may further damage your unit. Although a water-resistant sealant can help fix the patches, it is a temporary solution. We recommend a complete replacement of the pan to wave off the problem, especially for equipment aged 15 years and over. However, it is worth noting that any rust on the AC indicates your appliance is wasting away, and sooner than later, you may need to replace it.
Unclean Air Filters
As the name suggests, the air filters help to trap unwanted dirt particles from the air, such as dust, hair, pollen, pet dander, and other particulates. It would help if you had a change of the air filters at least once every three months for your residence in Rockford. If you have pets or smoke, consider a replacement once a month. Failure to change the filters results in re-circulation of the pollutants indoors or a leak in the AC unit.
The leak occurs because dirty air filters hinder proper airflow to the evaporator coils. The inadequate ventilation makes the air pressure within the evaporator fall significantly, causing them to cool even more. The freezing coils turn the water droplets into ice which, upon melting, leaks from the AC.
If you cannot remember the last time you had an air filter change, it is time. Scheduling regular maintenance appointments with Bel-Aire Heating & Cooling will assist in avoiding the inconvenience of water leaks and contaminated indoor air.
Icy Evaporator Coils
The evaporator coils help cool the indoor air and retain moisture, thereby controlling the home’s humidity. However, excessive AC makes the coils freeze, and more moisture condenses on the coils, forming ice blocks. The ice layers melt, overflowing from the drip tray and causing the AC to leak.
Shutting the AC and letting the ice defrost can help remedy the situation. However, there are chances it is a signal of other underlying issues such as a refrigerant leak or dirty air filters. If the problem persists after a shutdown, consider a professional solution from an HVAC technician.
For home dwellers of Rockford, put an end to leaking AC by getting an inspection from Bel-Aire Heating & Cooling. Our professionals are well trained with the necessary certifications and licenses to install and repair AC units. We offer furnace installations and repairs, ductwork services, and geothermal and mini-spilt installations. Moreover, we provide energy audits, commercial HVAC, planned service agreements, and financing options. Contact us today to learn more about AC units and our special offers.