Is water leaking from an air conditioner dangerous?

Looking at the potential dangers of water leaking from an air conditioner, the likely causes, and how to address them to avoid any further damage to the unit.

If you own an air conditioning unit and have recently discovered that your unit seems to be leaking water, it is important to know exactly why this is the case as it can lead to some issues for the unit, for you and for your home too.

If you have identified a leakage, knowing what is wrong, where it is coming from on the unit, and what it could potentially do to your unit will help in finding the solution or getting help.

What are some of the causes of an air conditioner leaking water?

A leakage of water in an air conditioner can be caused by a number of different issues that have arisen with the unit. A dirty air filter is one of them, because an air conditioning unit operates by drawing in air into the air handler. If the air filter is dirty and clogged up, this will restrain hot air from flowing freely with the unit.

Moreover, this can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. While the evaporator coil can freeze, it will also thaw itself, meaning that the likelihood of water leaking is high, and the condensate tank will not be able to hold the water.

Low refrigerant is a second cause to a water leakage issue. In the event that your unit is running low on Freon, this too can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up and as it thaws, and drips will accumulate water that will leak. In the case of a refrigerant leak, you will need to get an air conditioner repairing contractor to help attend to the matter.

If your unit’s condensate drain has become blocked or has detached, the drip pan could potentially leak some water. This is because air conditioners function through the process of condensation when the evaporator coil cools air drawn in.

The condensate pan will collect that water from the condensation process. When the condensate drain is blocked, this will lead to leakage as well as if the pipe gets detached somehow.

If the condensate pump of your air conditioner is not able to have water travel to the condensate plate, this means that the pump is possibly not working and causing the drip pan to fill up to a point that it leaks.

What are the potential dangers of water leakages from an air conditioner?

Water leaking from your air conditioner is not something to be ignored, especially because it is hazardous. Yes, units will produce water as they should for the condensation process, but when it comes to leakages that should not be happening, then it could be dangerous for the unit.

Some of the dangers of water leaking are the development of mould and mildew, which can be caused by a blocked drain line leading to the drip pan to overflow and water drip into the insulation. Hot air and moisture will definitely be the perfect place for mould and mildew to grow. A big mould problem could end up as your biggest problem.

Another danger is sheetrock and damage in insulation. Sheetrock is known to be quite delicate and not cope well when it is moist. An air conditioner leaking into sheetrock can cause major damage in a short space of time.

Electrical complications could also lead to danger, in the case that water is leaking from your air conditioner. If water ends up dripping onto any of your electrical appliances at home, this could lead to extensive damage to your appliances and cause a short.

What can you do when water is leaking from the unit?

Switching off the unit completely can help to avoid any potential further damage. Turning the unit off is best if you are still trying to find the source of the leak. If the evaporator coil is frozen, letting it thaw is best so that a technician will be able to work better on it.

Try and find a build-up of any ice in the unit. Look on the lines outside, to see if you might need Freon. Check whether the evaporator coils are not frozen too. Attend to any leakages as soon as possible by locating the leak and determining if you need a professional to consult the problem.

Regular maintenance of your air filters and condensate drain pipes will also help you avoid leakage problems just by keeping them both clean.

Leaking water from your air conditioner can be dangerous for a number of reasons. Thoroughly check your unit for leakage.

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