Oh Oh! Why is Water is Leaking from my Ceiling!
Condensation line leaks can happen anytime, but seem to be more common during our monsoon season. Dust storms and winds can cause obstructions in condensate lines resulting in improper drainage.
In the Valley, we have two very common types of air conditioners. Single packaged systems or roof top units are completely outside the home and are connected by a duct system. On a split sysstem, the condenser is usually outside and the air handler is inside the home. In both cases, the air conditioning system's job is twofold. It must both cool the indoor air, as well as remove humidity. The evaporator coil removes moisture in the air before it returns cool, dry air into the home. This removal of humidity is what results in the condensation of water. The water is then dispensed through the condensation line.
During our summers, when humidity is higher and the system is running more often, the evaporator coils remove more water from the air. Sometimes the amount of water is more than the pan and drain can remove quickly and can cause the water to overflow.
The most common reason for water leaks is caused by an obstruction in the drain line. Obstructions can be caused by the system taking in too much dust and dirt from the air filter. This is why we constantly remind our customers to change their filters every 30 days during the monsoon season. If an air filter isn't routinely cleaned or changed, the filter becomes like a brick wall to the incoming air which causes the evaporator coil to freeze over and form ice. As the temperature fluctuates, the ice melts and the excess water spills over the drain pan's edge and out of the unit. An obstruction blocks the drain and prevents the line from draining properly.
In some cases, water leakage could be caused by indirect issues, such as low refrigerant levels. When the refrigerant is low, it can cause the evaporative coil to freeze. This frozen moisture can extend over the drain pan and when that ice melts, it will go wherever it has the least resistance.
Most water leaks, caused by the air conditioning system are minor, but some can be very costly. There are a couple very simple steps you can take to avoid this issue. Each spring and fall, schedule a preventative maintenance check-up with us so we can make sure the system is performing as it should. And, the easiest and least expensive proactive approach is to change or clean the filters. Remember......change or clean your filters regularly.