How to fix water dripping from AC vent

To fix an issue where water is dripping from your AC vent, you can fix air leaks in the vents, unclog the drain line, and thaw the coils.

Air conditioners are known for cooling down your space, but these machines can also dehumidify your air. If there is water dripping from your air conditioner (AC) vents, this could be because this collected humidity is not being drained properly.

Fortunately, issues with leaks in the vents, clogged condensate lines, and frozen coils can be fixed in order to prevent these leaks in the future.

What do air conditioners actually do?

You may know that your air conditioner (AC) cools down your room by taking in the warm air and removing latent heat from it.

However, what you may not realise is that your air conditioner has a dual function in that it simultaneously cools down the air in your room and removes humidity from the air.

Hot air holds more moisture than cold air does and when the hot air from your room is passed over the very cold condenser coils, moisture collects around these coils and eventually drips into a condensate pan.

How to fix water dripping from AC vent

When you consider the dehumidifying and cooling capabilities of your air conditioner, it is clear that your air conditioner’s drainage system is responsible for moving this excess moisture and disposing of it outside the house.

However, when there is a problem somewhere in this drainage system, this can cause this moisture to start leaking from the vents when it is pushed back from the drain line.

This can have negative consequences, as water dripping from your AC vents can damage your floors, paint, and furniture. It could even lead to eventual mould and mildew growth throughout the vents, ducts, and within your home.

Water dripping from the AC vents can be caused by many things within your air conditioner drainage system, but your best course of action is usually to locate the cause of the leak first to fix it.

Some of the most common causes and ways to fix each cause so that your AC vents will not drip with water again include the following:

Possible causes for water dripping from an AC vent How to fix this
Air leaks in the vents Place caulk or tape around the areas from which air is leaking
A clogged condensate line Unclog the condensate lines or have a professional assist you with this
Frozen coils Give the coils time to defrost

How to fix air leaks in your vents

When there are gaps or holes within the vents of your air conditioning system through which air can escape, this air will mix with the humidity in the air.

This air and humidity will then condensate around the vents, and this is why water will be dripping from the vents and on to your ceiling or other parts of your home.

In order to fix this, you need to seal off any possible gaps where air could be leaking from your vents, so that this condensation cannot form in the first place.

To do this, you can use a waterproof caulk or aluminium tape that was specifically designed to handle the changing temperatures of air conditioning vents.

How to fix water dripping from AC vent How to fix water dripping from AC vent
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How to fix a clogged condensate line

Although most air conditioners have air filters that keep large particles of dust and debris out of other parts of the system, these particles still make their way through to the condensate line sometimes.

When this happens, the condensate line can become clogged and the moisture that cannot drain will push back into the vents. This is then what causes the water to drip from the vent.

To fix this, you need to unclog your condensate line or have a professional assist you with this. After you have switched off the air conditioner, you can pour about a cup of distilled white vinegar into the plug where the drain line can be vented.

You can also use a drain cleaner brush to get rid of any blockages or even use a shop vacuum to vacuum the blockages out.

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How to fix frozen coils

When the coils in your air conditioner become too cold, they will freeze. When ice around the coils eventually starts to melt, the moisture can drip from your vents.

To fix this, you need to figure out why the coils have frozen over, the reasons for which can vary from leaking refrigerant or dirty coils and filters, to an oversized unit.

In the meantime, you can let the coils thaw by turning off your AC and placing towels underneath the unit to absorb the moisture.

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