Preventing Water Damage from a Leaking Air Conditioning Unit

By Grace Clark

Water is naturally created as a byproduct when your air conditioning system is running. The water forms on the evaporator coil and then drips into a drain pain, and is siphoned off by the drainpipe into the plumbing system of your home. The water then runs outside and drains into your yard. If something goes wrong, however, the condensation might drain into your home, where it can cause a considerable amount of water damage.

acfilter-300x257.jpgTo keep your A/C unit draining properly, follow these tips:▪    Keep the air filter clean – when there is too much dust collecting on the filter, it will slow the passage of air through the whole system, causing frost to form on the evaporator coil. This is the part which carries the refrigerant through the air handler. As it evaporates, it will flood the drain pain.

▪    Periodically clean the outdoor condenser off with a moderate spray – Get rid of vegetation on all sides of the condenser and do not ever set anything on the top of it. The condenser needs to be able to blow away the heat from your home, and if anything slows it down, the whole system will run longer, making the evaporator coil freeze over.

▪    Get your air conditioning system checked each year – HVAC technicians as part of their standard service, will clean out the drain pan, check your drainpipe, and clean all the parts of the entire HVAC system. Occasionally debris can collect in the drainpipe, such as insects, dead leaves or even small rodents who climb inside the pipes to look for water. The technician may also add an algaecide in the drain pipe and pan to keep the water easily flowing.

▪    Have the specialist put a safety float switch inside of the air handler – this switch will sense when too much water has accumulated in the pan and will turn the air conditioner off until the water has a chance to drain.

Keep in mind as well that if you have a condensing furnace in your attic, you could also have a problem with your a/c flooding because this type of furnace condenses some moisture in the natural gas and it needs to drain out somewhere. It is common for an HVAC contractor to use the drain for the a/c unit. With both systems using the same drain, it is wise to have sensors on both units so that they will be shut off before any serious water damage happens.

You may also have a problem with the refrigerant charge causing the a/c unit to freeze. This could mean that you have a refrigerant leak, especially if you change the filter, and the system is still freezing up. In this case, it is beneficial to contact your HVAC technician to come and take a look at what is going on.

If your air conditioning unit has caused water damage to your property, call a professional water damage restoration company. They have specialized equipment and techniques to tackle any water damage.

Grace Clark

SERVPRO of Southeast Dallas County and SERVPRO of Northwest Dallas is a locally owned and operated company, we can provide 24-hour emergency service and are devoted to responding quickly to residential or commercial needs.