If Your Air Conditioner Leaks, Here's What You Can Do

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If Your Air Conditioner Leaks, Here's What You Can DoThe first air conditioner was actually invented to dehumidify air. So when your central A/C extracts gallons of water vapor from the air on a hot day in western Colorado, it’s doing what it’s designed to do. If the system’s working right, the evaporator coil takes just the right amount of condensate out of your household air, captures it in a drip pan and drains it away safely. When something’s out of order, however, excessive amounts of condensate may be produced and air conditioner leaks can occur. If they go unnoticed, significant property damage may result.

A regular annual inspection by an HVAC technician can prevent the following problems that may result in air conditioner leaks:

Coil icing.  The compressor in your A/C unit is designed to cycle on and off regularly to maintain consistent temperature and humidity level in your home. If the contactor — a spring-loaded solenoid that actuates the compressor — is worn and defective, the compressor may run non-stop, causing ice to form throughout the evaporator coil. An evaporator clogged with dirt or mold can also produce coil ice.

Low air flow. A dirty filter or other obstruction can restrict airflow over the coil, also causing over-production of condensate. This can flood the drip pan and/or cause formation of ice at the evaporator, which may cause leaks as it melts.

Clogged drain. The growth of algae or mold in the drip pan under the air handler may plug both the primary and backup drain line. This can quickly lead to a damaging overflow. An HVAC technician can disinfect the drip pan and drain lines to restore drain function. He or she may recommend installing a safety float switch in the drip pan. This device senses a high level of standing water in the drip pan and automatically cuts off power to the A/C unit to prevent an overflow.

On Colorado’s Western Slope, Climate Control Company has kept homeowners comfortable through more than 55 summers. Contact us for an A/C inspection to prevent property damage from air conditioner leaks.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air conditioner leaks and other HVAC topics, please visit our website.     

Climate Control Company services Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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