The idea of a malfunctioning air conditioner can be alarming. If you notice water in the area of your indoor equipment, you may be surprised, wondering why the AC would leak. While some homeowners are aware of the dehumidification function of a household cooling system, many are unfamiliar with the process. Fortunately, the fact that your air conditioner leaks water is not serious. However, it is an indication that some basic maintenance is in order.
How an Air Conditioner Dehumidifies
The cooling function of your AC is prompted by the reaction of refrigerant to pressure changes. Under pressure, it gets hot, and when that pressure is alleviated so that the material can expand, it gets extremely cold. The heating takes place outside while the cooling happens in the evaporator coils of your inside AC equipment.
As the refrigerant gets cold, it participates in a heat exchange with the surrounding air. The refrigerant warms up by absorbing heat, and the air becomes cool. The humidity in the air condenses on the coils carrying the refrigerant, producing a liquid condensate much like that on your glass of ice water on a hot day. When enough liquid accumulates, it drips into the drain pan to be channeled out of the house.
When your air conditioner leaks water, it is generally due to the fact that the drain lines have become clogged. Your air filter is in place to protect the interior equipment of your AC from particles of dust. However, failure to change the filter regularly can result in dirt and grime accumulating in the area. This buildup of dirt can affect the performance of your AC by restricting airflow and preventing proper heat exchange. If you notice that the circulating air from your vents doesn’t seem very strong or very cold, then you may need to have your system serviced. Similarly, if you notice water puddles near your indoor cooling equipment, then an HVAC maintenance call is important for ensuring that the drain lines are clear.
Additional Benefits of HVAC Maintenance
In addition to the cleaning of critical components of your indoor equipment, a tune-up provides the opportunity to check for refrigerant leaks, tighten loose fittings and parts, and adjust other important system components. Annual servicing of your AC can help in extending the life of your equipment while keeping your energy usage down. Your dirty coils, for example, can add 20 percent to your cooling costs. Low refrigerant levels can do the same. You may be surprised at how much better your home comfort levels will be and how much your energy bills will drop with a simple tune-up.
Stiles Heating & Cooling is committed to providing our customers in the Athens, GA and Anderson, SC communities with excellent service for all HVAC needs. We offer maintenance agreements to help our customers keep up with seasonal needs related to heating and cooling equipment. You can contact our representatives to schedule an inspection and cleaning to address your leaky AC unit.