Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Explanations

An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by pulling heat and humidity from the air. As the AC extracts humidity from the air, it generates condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is typically kept in a drain pan and moved through piping into your home’s drain system.

As a side effect, damaged pipes or sludge buildup may cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water returns to the drain pan in your furnace or air handler. It can then leak into your home. This is particularly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is up in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In most homes, municipal codes necessitate a secondary or safety drain pan that is located underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan has piping that is sent to the outside of the home. Most of the time, the outlet of the pipe is located above the outside of a window so it’s easily noticeable if water starts draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water dripping from piping on the outside of your home, this is often an indication the primary drain is clogged and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most frequent causes for why your AC is leaking water and how to take care of the issue. Some homes could also have a safety device that will automatically shut off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is cleared of any obstructions. Regardless, if you see water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to “off” to prevent any additional water damage and get in touch with a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners often require professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We proudly deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.*

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked

When hot, humid air runs along the evaporator coil, water appears on the chilly metal surface. At the end of the process, the water drains into a pan beneath the indoor coil inside the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence occurs, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan fills up.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris can clog the drain. This stops the water from moving away properly. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to guarantee it’s done properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will autonomously turn off your AC just in case the drain becomes backed up again sometime after, thus avoiding water damage inside your home. Of course, scheduling maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and unobstructed.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While unusual, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This may be the cause if someone is working close to the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line is lose from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to determine if the drain line is still connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we encourage calling an HVAC technician to resolve this issue as soon as possible. Schedule an appointment with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners require a condensate pump to adequately drain the water. These pumps are compulsory when the home’s drain system is put above the AC unit. Even if the drain is free of obstructions, water could collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is faulty. First, make sure that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the problem, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Broken

If you see little drips in lieu of a bigger puddle near the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be dripping off the evaporator coil rather than properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can be the case if the coils are grimy, or if holes in the insulation surrounding approach to prevent the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you uncover a leak and the AC isn’t cooling enough, the refrigerant level may be insufficient thanks to a leak. Air conditioners depend on refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it looked at consistently during seasonal maintenance is incredibly important for the longevity of your unit. Without a full supply of refrigerant, the evaporator coils may freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Contrary to some expectations, your AC does not need to be refilled unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only necessary when a leak happens within the system. Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing immediately to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner’s filter has to be changed regularly to ensure enough airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to collect in the drain pan—potentially starting an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem lasts, further repairs will sometimes be required. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets solved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are built to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Using your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower may cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and potentially create an overflow because of ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are built to last, but nothing lasts forever. If you use an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan could be damaged or corroded even with normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak might appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working normally.

Our Experts Can Tackle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can fix the problem. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again as soon as possible.

Our technicians are well trained, knowledgeable and certified to perform exemplary work. We have full confidence in our repairs—in fact, we back up everything we perform with a one-year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!*

We’ll even talk about enrolling in a worry-free membership plan. This will sometimes help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, promptly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house comfortable.

Contact us at to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!