Why Is My Air Handler Dripping Water?

Air handlers play a crucial role in cooling your home. They are responsible for circulating cool air throughout your home, making sure that each room is comfortable. However, if your air handler is dripping water, it can negatively affect your cooling system’s efficiency and damage your home.

In this blog, we will explore the causes behind an air handler dripping water, and what needs to be done to fix them. Buckeye Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has been in the heating and cooling business for many years, and we are confident that by reading this blog you will get an in-depth understanding of the causes, effects, and solutions for an air handler leaking water.

What Causes an Air Handler to Drip Water?

Your air handler should not produce water under normal operation. If it does, it could be an indication of a bigger problem. Here are some possible causes of an air handler dripping water;

Clogged Condensate Drain Line

Your air handler has a drain line that disposes of the condensed water that forms on the evaporator coil during the cooling process. If you have a clogged drain line, it can cause the water to back up in the drain pan and overflow into your home.

A clogged condensate drain line can occur due to a variety of reasons, including sludge buildup, dirt, debris, or mold in your air conditioning system. Therefore, it is essential to schedule regular maintenance to ensure that your air handler’s condensate drain line is clean, free of clogs, and not leaking water.

Dirty Air Filters

A dirty air filter can restrict airflow and cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once the coils melt, the excess water can overflow and start to drip from your air handler.

You should change your air filters regularly to ensure your equipment remains efficient and clean.

Dirty air filters can also lead to more serious problems, like mildew growth, compressor failure, or a faulty thermostat.

Improperly Installed Condensate Drain Pan or Broken Drain Pan

Your air handler has a condensate drain pan that collects the condensed water your air conditioner produces. If the pan is not installed correctly, it can cause the water to overflow and drip. It is important to ensure that the condensate pan is installed correctly and leveled, making sure the drain line is positioned appropriately.

A rusted drain pan is a common cause of water leakage from your air handler. Over time, the metal pan that collects condensation from your HVAC system can corrode and develop small holes or cracks. When this happens, water can leak out and damage your air handler or other surrounding components. It can even cause water damage to your walls or floors.

Fortunately, fixing a rusted drain pan is a relatively easy and affordable process. You'll need to have your HVAC professional replace the damaged drain pan to stop water leaks.

Low Refrigerant Levels

Low refrigerant levels can cause several problems with your air handler, including causing water to form on the evaporator coils and drip into the system.

If you suspect low refrigerant levels because of your air handler leaking water, it is always important to contact a professional HVAC company like Buckeye to diagnose and fix the problem.

Evaporator Coil Issues

A frozen evaporator coil can cause your air handler to leak water due to a buildup of condensation as the evaporator coil thaws. This excess water will fall onto the unit's drain pan and overflow, causing water damage to your property.

To fix a frozen evaporator coil, it's best to turn off the air conditioning system immediately and let the ice thaw completely. You can speed up the thawing process by using a hairdryer on the lowest setting or placing a fan near the unit.

After frozen evaporator coils have thawed, check the air filter for dirt and debris as this could be the cause of the issue. If the filter is dirty, replace it with a new one. If you still notice your air conditioner leaking water, it's time to call a professional for AC unit repairs.

What to Do If Your Air Handler Is Dripping Water?

Once you determine that your air handler is leaking water, you need to take immediate action to avoid further damage and inefficiency to your cooling system. Here are some steps you can take to fix an air handler that is dripping water;

Turn Off Your Air Conditioner

The first step to take once you suspect a water leak is to turn off your air conditioner and unplug your system from the power source. This will help prevent further damage and keep you safe.

Locate and Inspect Your Air Handler

Once you have turned off the air conditioner, locate your air handler and inspect it for any leaks. Determine if the water is coming from the base or inside the unit.

Call a Professional HVAC Company

Fixing a water leak from your air handler may seem simple. However, it is crucial to reach out to a professional HVAC company like Buckeye to diagnose the issue and provide you with the necessary repairs.

Fixing your air handler requires expert knowledge, specialized tools, and a thorough understanding of HVAC systems. A professional HVAC technician can save you time and money and provide you with a long-lasting solution.

Schedule Regular Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is crucial to ensuring your air handler remains in excellent working condition always. Buckeye offers regular furnace maintenance programs that include inspecting your equipment, cleaning your filters, and ensuring that your drain lines are free of clogs.

Scheduled maintenance will reduce the chances of your air handler leaking and ultimately improve the efficiency and longevity of your cooling system.

Get Help If You Have an Air Handler Leaking Water

An air handler dripping water is a warning sign that should not go unnoticed. Ignoring the issue can lead to greater damage, higher energy costs, and an uncomfortable living environment. Taking necessary steps once you notice your air handler leaking water can prevent costly repairs.

Buckeye has been in the HVAC business for many years, providing expert services to homeowners and businesses in the Central Ohio area. Contact us today for air handler issues or to schedule regular maintenance services. Our team of professionals is always ready to assist with your HVAC needs.

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