6 Main Reasons Why Your Window Air Conditioner Leaks

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
Construction plumbing and HVAC in Amarillo, Texas.

The primary role of an air conditioner (AC) is to remove moisture from the room and provide a comfortable temperature to a home or business. During the cooling process, the AC creates a great deal of water. The amount of water created depends upon the humidity in the air, the operating efficiency, size of the unit, and whether or not it was installed properly.

When water is removed from the air, it falls down the air conditioner’s cooling coil and trickles into the base. Then, the water flows into a series of channels to the rear of the air conditioner. The fan blade lifts some of the water and uses it to cool the heating coil, but most of the water goes to the back of the unit. Once the water reaches the rear, it pours out of the base and flows to the ground. If your AC is working properly, it should follow the above processes. The following are six of the most common issues that can cause a leak in window air conditioners.

The air conditioner is improperly installed

Window air conditioners are supposed to be slightly lower at the back than the front. This design allows water being removed from the air to drain out the back of the machine. Even a difference of a single inch can make a difference in the performance of this type of unit. Many window air conditioners are installed improperly in order to get quick relief from the heat. If the AC was installed too low at the back, water will roll out of the front edges and onto the floor inside the structure.

Air leakage from a window air conditioner

If warm air enters around the window AC, it will encounter dryer and cooler air. This contact creates condensation. If you notice that water is leaking from the front of the unit, inspect to see if there any is dripping from the body. Use the air conditioner for about 30 minutes and then use a flashlight to look under the front edge of the machine’s base. If you notice small droplets there, you have an air leakage problem. You can add foam insulation to stop the warm air from infiltrating the AC and causing water leaks.

Freezing coils in a window air conditioner

Water that is dehumidified will turn to ice if the air conditioner has a problem within its cooling system. Several things could cause the machine to freeze up. Check the cooling coil by removing the front grille while the air conditioner is on. If ice is on the cooling coil, you should have the air conditioner serviced.

Blocked drain holes in an air conditioner

The rear of your air conditioner base contains a drain hole that allows the water to escape. If the hole becomes blocked, the water will back up. To test for a blockage, let the machine run for 30 minutes and see if it is draining properly. If the drain appears to be blocked, use a small piece of wood to open it at the rear of the base.

Blockage within the internal drains of an air conditioner

Small passageways allow water to drain out from the front of the air conditioner to the back. If the passageways become blocked, water will pool to the front and overflow. If you notice this issue, the window unit will need to be removed and serviced.

Cold temperatures outside the window air conditioner

At the end of the cooling season, the temperatures outside can become too cold for the air conditioner to work properly. If the temperature outside drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the night, the cooling coil can ice up. If there is no leakage at night, but you notice it in the morning, it is likely this problem. Turn off the AC when you go to bed and then restart it as outside temperatures begin to warm the next day to prevent freezing. You could also try only using the fan on the air conditioner during the night. This mode will circulate the air in the room, but will not allow cooling.

If you would like to learn more about air conditioning and HVAC services, contact the experts at Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo,Texas today. You can reach us at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our heavy industrial, residential, and commercial services. You can also stop by our office at 404 S. Hayden St. in Amarillo for more information.