Living in or near Tampa, FL means that your air conditioner is in use for most of the year. The area’s hot and humid summers, mild and rainy winters, and warm spring and autumn seasons exert a lot of stress on your home’s cooling system. An AC leak may alarm you at first. This is a common problem, and here are five possible reasons why your AC is leaking.

1. Clogged Condensate Drain

During a cooling cycle, warm, moist air passes over the cold evaporator coil. This rapid drop in temperature makes water condense out of your home’s air. The water collects in the air conditioner’s drain pan, makes its way into the condensate drain, and gets pumped into your home’s wastewater system. A clog in the condensate drain may cause the AC unit in your home to leak. You may first notice a puddle on the floor near the condensate pipe. Algae, dust, and other particles build up in the dark, warm, and wet condensate line. During your annual AC maintenance visit, Ahoy! Cooling & Heating technicians clean the condensate line to prevent clogs.

2. Rusted Drain Pan

A rusted drain pan may also cause your indoor AC unit to leak. The interaction of oxygen and water with the metal pain leads to rust. This is more common in older air conditioning systems. When the drain pan has holes, the water follows the path of least resistance. You may notice one or more puddles near the indoor unit. The indoor unit may also develop water or rust stains from the dripping. A technician from Ahoy! Cooling & Heating can replace the rusted drain pan.

3. Broken Condensate Pump

The air conditioner’s condensate pump removes the water that collects in the drain pan. A broken pump may result in an overflowing drain pain. You’ll notice a growing puddle on the floor of your home near the AC’s indoor unit. Replacing the condensate pump is a simple repair that a skilled technician can perform within a few hours. It’s important to replace the pump before the water has a chance to damage the indoor unit’s wiring, fan, or other sensitive components.

4. Refrigerant Leak

A refrigerant leak may also lead to a leaking air conditioner. When the refrigerant leaks out of the AC unit’s closed-loop system, the unit’s pressure drops too low. This causes the remaining refrigerant to become extremely cold. When warm air passes over the cold indoor coil, it freezes. This creates layers of ice. When the cooling cycle stops, the ice starts to melt. This makes a puddle. The outdoor unit can also develop ice. This may happen if the unit gets stuck in a defrosting cycle or if the system has a refrigerant leak.

Only a qualified service technician can measure the refrigerant level. If the level is too low, the Ahoy! Cooling & Heating technician troubleshoots the system in order to find the source of the leak. After locating the leak and repairing it, the refrigerant level can be recharged. If your air conditioner was manufactured before 2010, it might use an older type of refrigerant called R-22. The brand name of this product is Freon. The EPA phased out the manufacturing of this coolant. Some recycled Freon may be available to recharge the unit, but supplies are severely limited. Because the average air conditioner lifespan is 12 years, you may be better off replacing an old, leaky unit instead of repairing it.

5. Dirty Air Filter

Operating your air conditioner with a dirty air filter leads to a wide range of problems. One of these problems is a leaky system. The clogged air filter reduces airflow. Without enough warm air passing over the cold coil, the coil begins to freeze. Moisture from your home’s air freezes upon contact with the coil. Between cooling cycles, the ice melts. This creates a puddle on your home’s floor. We recommend checking the air filter once each month and replacing it no later than every three months. During the hot, humid Tampa summers, you may need to replace the filter on a monthly basis.

If you’re not in need of air conditioner repairs today, our technicians also offer heating system repairs and heating and cooling installation, replacement, and maintenance. Our ductless mini splits, air filters, UV lights, duct cleaning, and ductwork installation services keep your home clean, safe, comfortable, and energy efficient. For more information about why your air conditioner is leaking or to schedule any of our services, get in touch with us at Ahoy! Cooling & Heating today.

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