Air conditioning is found in most homes and apartments, and anyone with an AC unit can have trouble imagining life without the perks of temperature control. While useful for fighting back against the summer heat, AC units can also be the source of headaches if they begin to leak. If there is an AC unit dripping water inside, structural problems can result as water infiltrates your walls and floors. A window AC unit leaking water can cause problems inside or outside the home. Although an AC unit leaking water on floors, walls, etc. isn’t as troublesome as, say, a flooding dishwasher or overflowing toilet, it is still a problem that needs to be addressed.
Causes of Air Conditioning Leaks
Clogged Drain Lines
Air conditioning units produce a fair amount of condensation, which is normally collected in a drain pan and siphoned away by a drain pipe. One of the most common causes of an AC unit leaking water is that there is a clog somewhere in the drain line—usually caused by dirt or rust, but algae has been known to grow in the pipes as well. These clogs cause water to back up and eventually make the drain pan overflow and spill into the surrounding walls and floors.
Loose Drain Line
If improperly installed, the drain pipe may not be sufficiently secured. Over time, it can loosen and disconnect from the main unit entirely. This results in an AC unit leaking water either outside or inside directly onto the ceiling or floor, depending on where it is located.
Cracked Drain Pan
If the drain pan is faulty or damaged, it can develop cracks that allow condensation to seep out into the surrounding structure. This, like other forms of AC leakage, creates damp patches and builds up water damage over time.
AC units take advantage of gravity to direct condensation towards the drain pan. If a unit is angled the wrong way while being installed, some of this water may flow away from the pan and drip into the home.
There are coils within the AC unit that are susceptible to ice buildup. This usually happens if the unit is being run constantly (like in the summer) or is operating when the temperature is below 60°F (like the in winter). The ice creates obstacles that redirect water away from the normal drainage paths and can cause leaks. Alternatively, the ice can damage the structure of the unit if it builds up to a significant degree.
Poor Duct Insulation
Condensation can build up around your air ducts if they are not properly insulated. The reason this happens is fairly simple: as cool air passes through the ducts, it can chill them to the point where, combined with the ambient temperature, they act like a cold glass on a hot day. This leads to condensation building up around the ducts and vents, and it can spread from there through the ceiling or floor. Properly insulating the ducts is often the key to preventing this scenario.
Contact Flood Services Canada for Professional AC Leak Cleanup and Restoration
Should you end up facing water damage from a dripping or leaking AC unit, professional remediation can be used to fix the problem and thoroughly inspect your property for damp patches and water damage. When facing water damage, Flood Services Canada’s quick-response teams of professional remediators will drain, dry, and save your property.
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