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Is a Leaking Air Conditioner Dangerous?

August 13, 2021

When your air conditioner is running properly, your house will be cool and dry. A leaking air conditioner is annoying but isn’t necessarily harmful. It depends on whether it’s leaking water or refrigerant.

Water leaking from your air conditioner isn’t bad but can cause a lot of damage to your house. In contrast, a coolant leak is harmful to you and the environment. In either situation, fixing a leak will require skilled air conditioning repair.

In most instances, you can stop your air conditioner from leaking by scheduling yearly air conditioning maintenance. During your appointment, an HVAC tech will closely examine your system for problems and clean it. This service helps provide worry-free performance and may even improve energy efficiency.

Find out why your air conditioner is leaking and how you can stop it from happening in the future.

Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

Water is a natural result of air conditioning. Your air conditioner has two systems, one outside and one inside. The indoor unit has an evaporator coil that cools warm air as it moves over it. Condensation occurs as the air cools, flows into a drain pan and goes out of your home through a condensate drain line.

Because of the condensation process, having water leak is a common problem. We often receive calls about an air conditioner leaking water inside or an air conditioner leaking water outside. Here’s why it happens:

Drain Line Is Clogged

Over time, mold can block the condensate drain line. This can result in water backing up inside your house. Our Contra Costa Heating & AC pros can eliminate clogs and get water flowing again smoothly. Reach us at 510-343-9841 for help.

Air Filter Is Dirty

We recommend changing flat filters once a month and pleated filters every three months.

Replacing your air filter is critical for:

  • Indoor air quality
  • Energy efficiency
  • Reducing breakdowns
  • Extending your air conditioner’s lifetime

A dirty air filter can reduce airflow, make the coil extremely cold and cause it to freeze. As the coil melts, it can overwhelm the drain pan. We suggest checking your air filter if you haven’t changed it lately and your air conditioner is leaking water indoors.

If this doesn’t resolve the issue, your drain pan might be rusty or have a broken condensate pump. Replacing your pan or pump requires a pro, so contact us at 510-343-9841 for help.

Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Freon?

Your air conditioner relies on coolant to move heat. If your air conditioner was put in before 2011, it likely has R-22 Freon. As time passes, chemicals in Freon can eat away at metal and create leaks.

It’s good to know about air conditioner Freon leak symptoms in the event your system has one. They include:

  • Air that feels hotter or more humid than normal
  • Bubbling or hissing noises near the air conditioner
  • Sweet smell by the air conditioner
  • Frozen evaporator coil

Freon is hazardous to your health if handled improperly, so you’ll want an HVAC professional like Contra Costa Heating & AC to fix an air conditioner coolant leak. In most instances, it might just be better to schedule air conditioning installation since Freon is expensive. Manufacturing of this coolant was stopped in 2020 due to its damaging effects on the ozone layer. As a result, only reduced recycled quantities are available.

Rely on Contra Costa Heating & AC for Fixing Your Air Conditioner Leaks

When it comes to air conditioning repair in the Bay Area, turn to the company your neighbors and friends depend on. We’ve been known for our fast, friendly and affordable services since 1970. Call us at 510-343-9841 to schedule your appointment now!