Why Are My AC Vents Dripping Water?

Water dripping from your AC vents is a serious issue and requires immediate attention. Leaking water can contribute to mold and mildew growth which can pose a major health issue.

Exposure to mold spores can have profound health effects ranging from throat, skin, and eye irritation to cough and wheezing. Long-term exposure to mold can have long-term effects such as trouble concentrating, light sensitivity, persistent headaches, and migraines.

Water dripping from an air vent can cause serious structural damage. Water is a natural conductor of electricity. Water leaking around an electrical outlet can come in contact with electricity, starting an electrical fire.

Here are some common causes of water leaks in AC units found by our Rocklin air conditioning repair service.

Dirty Air Filters

A dirty air filter can affect your AC vents indirectly. Filters become clogged with foreign particles over time and a filter clogged with dirt and debris does harm than good. Inadequate air flow causes condensation to form on the coils as water freezes over the evaporator coils, forming a thin layer of ice.

The longer you wait to change dirty filters, the thicker the ice layer becomes. The ice starts dripping as it melts which can cause your vents to leak water.

AC experts recommend changing air filters every 30-90 days. When determining filter change intervals, some factors to consider are the people in your household, if you have pets, or if someone has an allergy.

Clogged Condensate Drain line

Like air filters, your drain pipe can become clogged with mold, sludge, mildew, and dust over time. A clogged drain line will cause condensation to accumulate within your air vents.

If you suspect a clogged condensate drain line, inspect your condenser unit and check the drip pan. If your drip pan is overflowing, your condensate drain line is clogged.

Periodic maintenance will prevent the problem. During maintenance sessions, your contractor will flush the pipe drain to prevent clogs from occurring.

Refrigerant Leak

A refrigerant leak can cause your refrigerant levels to drop drastically. When refrigerant levels drop, your AC is unable to remove humidity from the air inside your home properly. Some signs you are dealing with a refrigerant leak are: poor cooling, higher electricity bills, long cooling cycles and humid indoor air.

Never handle refrigerants yourself. If you suspect a refrigerant leak, reach out to a Rocklin air conditioning repair service for help. AC technicians are trained to handle refrigerants safely.

Damaged or Decayed Drain Pan

The drain pan is responsible for collecting the excess water from the AC unit. When the drain pan becomes damaged, the excess water does not drain properly. Pooling water leaks out to the vents.

Air Leaks Around the Vent

This is one of the most common causes of AC vent water leaks. When air escapes around your AC vents, condensation builds up instead of flowing through the grates and eventually drips from the AC vents.  If air is leaking from anywhere other than your AC’s grates, caulk the leak.

Damaged Condensate Pump

The condensate pump removes water out of the condensate line. If the pump motor is faulty, your condensate pump won’t be able to drain water properly. Check your condensate pump to see if it is working properly.

Condensate pumps have a float switch. Sometimes it can become clogged with dirt. If the switch is not working properly, remove any build up. If you cannot locate the float switch, try finding a wire attached to the pump. Pull the wire up. If the problem persists, you may need a new pump.

Insufficient Insulation Around the Air Ducts

If your attic isn’t insulated and your air ducts run through it, condensation can build up within your system and drain through your vents. To prevent this problem, have an HVAC expert install insulation around your ductwork.

Improper Installation 

If your AC unit was installed improperly and the unit or the drain pipe is tilting to one side, it will cause pooled condensation to drip. To prevent problems, hire a pro with a proven track record of success for installation.

Is your AC acting up? South Placing Heating and Air can help. We have years of experience installing, repairing and maintaining different types of ACs. We are committed to helping families get the most out of their AC units. We get to the root causes of cooling problems and eliminate them. To schedule an inspection, call (916) 246-2089.