An air conditioner leak can cause real concern, and it is essential to have the issue resolved as quickly as possible. If you prefer the fastest and easiest fix, then it is best to consult with an HVAC professional as soon as you find a leak. However, for DIYers who would prefer to try and fix it on their own, there are certain things that you can check to try and resolve the issue.
Regardless of whether you choose to fix it yourself or if you call an HVAC professional, it is important not to use the A/C until the issue is resolved. Otherwise, you risk further damage. A leaky air conditioner may lead to water damage that requires expensive repairs, increased utility costs each month, and an inability to keep your home at the desired temperature during the spring and summer months.
4 Steps to repairing an air conditioner leak
As mentioned, you can easily solve the problem of a leaky air conditioner by contacting an HVAC professional. An air conditioner leak repair is affordable and can be resolved on the first visit if the issue is not complex.
If you do decide to fix your air conditioner leak on your own, turn off the A/C immediately and try check the four common issues listed below. If you cannot find the cause of the air conditioner leak by following these four steps, then you will likely need to call an HVAC professional.
Check the Evaporator Coil
One of the most common reasons for an air conditioner leak is a frozen evaporator coil. The evaporator coil may freeze for a number of reasons. Most notably, they can become frozen when the air filter clogs, which prevents the air from flowing through properly. If they are clogged or dirty, then shut off the A/C immediately and change the air filters as soon as possible.
If this does not solve the issue, then there is likely a more complex issue that requires professional assistance to find the cause of the frozen evaporator coil.
For example, the coils may be dirty, the vents may be blocked, or the blower motor may be damaged. If none of these issues exist, then the refrigerant is likely causing the evaporator coil to freeze.
Inspect the Drain Pan
The drain pan is located underneath the indoor air handler where the evaporator coils are located. You can visibly inspect the drain pan for any signs of damage. Most notably, an air conditioner may leak if the drain pan is cracked. In some instances, the pipe connected to the drain pan might be cracked, which may cause a leak or the drain pan to overflow.
It is also important to understand that there are two different drain pans in many instances. There is a permanent one that is underneath the evaporator coils and a removable one that is underneath the unit.
Cracks to either may lead to an air conditioner leak. If the permanent drain pan or the pipe is cracked, then it is best to call an HVAC professional. It is also best to have the removable drain pan repaired or replaced if there is damage as well, although you can temporarily patch up the crack with water sealant.
Unclog the Drain Line
Another common cause of an air conditioner leak is a clogged drain line. The drain line can slowly become clogged over time due to a build-up of debris. The easiest way to fix a clogged drain line is to call an HVAC professional, but you can also fix it yourself with the right tools.
To unclog your drain line, you will need to locate the PVC pipe that is near the drain pan. Once you find it, unscrew the cap to see what may be clogging the pipe.
In some instances, the drain line can become clogged due to a buildup of algae and fungi. A great remedy for built-up algae and fungi is vinegar. Simply pour five ounces of vinegar down the drain line and let the magic happen.
If there is debris in the pipe, you can try a wet-dry vac to remove it. Wet-dry vacuums require more effort and time, so it might be best to call an HVAC professional. If you use a wet-dry vac and it does not solve the air conditioner leak issue, then you will need professional assistance.
Schedule Regular HVAC Tune-ups
The best way to deal with an air conditioner leak is to prevent them from happening in the first place. While some leaks are hard to prevent, you can greatly reduce the risk of having one develop through regular HVAC tune-ups. Most HVAC professionals suggest an HVAC tune-up annually, particularly right before the warmer spring and summer months.
An HVAC professional can check all of the aforementioned elements that may lead to an air conditioner leak over time. They can change all filters, inspect the drain pan, unclog the drain line, and more. In many instances, regular HVAC tune-ups save costs over time by allowing the HVAC unit to run more efficiently and reducing energy costs, as well as by preventing the need for a more expensive repair down the road.
Speak to the HVAC Experts at Presidential Heat and Air
Presidential Heat and Air offers a range of HVAC services, and we can efficiently find the cause of an air conditioner leak and fix it. We also offer routine tune-up visits to ensure your air conditioner works well before heading into the warmer time of the year.
If you want to learn more about how to repair an air conditioner leak or need to schedule a service for an AC repair, then reach out via phone or email to talk to one of our HVAC professionals.