evaporator-coilWith the exception of evaporative coolers, which are not used often in this area, air conditioning systems do not use water in their operation. With that in mind, you may be wondering where the heck all of this water that is surrounding your air conditioning unit is coming from. No, it is not a figment of your imagination or some sort of optical illusion. There may be water coming from your system, but it is not a water leak in the way that you may be thinking of.

There are a few potential sources of this water. While it may not really be an emergency that is putting the condition of your air conditioner at risk, it is definitely in your best interest to get to the bottom of the problem immediately. In at least one case, this could be a symptom of a problem that could do irrevocable damage to your plumbing system. So read on, and remember to contact us for quality air conditioning services in Suffolk, VA.

First Things First: Where’s This Moisture Coming From?

Okay, so if your air conditioner is not being fed water in order to cool your home, where does the moisture that your seeing actually come from.? The answer is from the air in your home. While your central air conditioner is not a dehumidifier—and you’ll need a whole-house dehumidifier installed if you hope to effectively dehumidify a very humid home—it does draw some moisture out of the air in the house.

This happens as the refrigerant evaporates in the evaporator coil, which allows that coil to remove heat from the air. This process results in the condensation of moisture that was in the warm air, and that condensation collects on the evaporator coil. Where does it go from there? This brings us to our next point.

You’re Likely Dealing with an Issue Related to the Condensate Drain Line or Pan

The condensation collected on the coil doesn’t just stay there. It drips off the coil and into a condensate drain pan. Then it enters the condensate line, which removes it from the home. There are a few reasons why this process may not go so smoothly.

  1. The drain pan is corroded or misaligned. You can readjust the drain pan yourself if it is not lined up right, allowing for the leakage. It may also need to be replaced entirely if it has rusted out.
  2. A backed up drain line. Whip up a basic cleaning solution of vinegar or bleach to clean it out. If it’s really clogged, perhaps with algal growth, you may need to vacuum the line out.
  3. Melting ice. Wait a second, we’re talking air conditioners, not freezers, right? Sure, and your air conditioner is not supposed to be making ice. However, if the evaporator coil gets too cold due to reduced airflow caused by a very dirty filter or if there is a refrigerant leak causing the filter to get too cold, condensation can freeze on it. That ice can melt, overwhelming the drainage components.

House Call Company is here for all of your AC service needs. Contact us and see how we can make you smile.

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