19 Jun 2020

Excessive Condensation from Your Air Conditioner? What It Is & How to Fix

Have you seen excessive condensation coming from your air conditioner? Or is no water dripping out of the condensate line? Is water leaking into your house?

Summer has arrived. You’ve got the air conditioner running, and all is well in your Phoenix home.

That is until you notice water dripping from your ceiling. You start checking to see what is wrong and notice that there is no water draining from your outside condensate drain line.

You know the air conditioner produces condensate, but it’s not supposed to drain into your ceiling! You know you need to act quickly but who should you call?

And is this going to be a quick repair or is it going to be expensive, like, “I’ve got to replace my whole AC system?

These are questions swirling through your head. We asked the HVAC pros here at AZ Perfect Comfort, and they gave us some great guidelines.

What is Air Conditioning Condensation?

As your air conditioner runs and circulates air throughout your home, it also removes humidity from the air. Your HVAC unit has an evaporator coil that is designed to pull humidity from the air. Dryer air feels cooler. The moisture that is removed by the evaporator runs down a plastic pipe called a condensate tube. These tubes usually drain the water away from the house.

Is Condensation Normal

Water running out of the condensate tube is normal.

But, in healthy air conditioning units, you won’t notice the condensation it creates because it drips into a pan and runs outside through the condensate lines.

If you see condensation inside your home, your air conditioner needs the attention of an HVAC technician. Excessive water dripping inside your home is a sign that one or more of your AC parts are not working correctly.

The most common reason for a condensation leak is that one of the multiple parts responsible for getting excess water outdoors is malfunctions.

Signs that Your Condensate Line is Clogged

Symptoms indicating a clogged air conditioning condensate drain line include:

  • Musty, moldy smell near your indoor unit or in air from blowing through the house
  • The HVAC system is not adequately cooling your home
  • Water damage in areas near the indoor portion of the unit
  • Standing water near the indoor unit
  • The AC system turns off or will not turn on

Parts Involved in Condensation Removal

Each part of the air conditioner is just as important as the other. They cannot function properly without each other. If one is broken, you will know it, especially when it comes to condensation removal.

  1. Condensate lines provide the way out for water, flowing from the primary drain pan to the outside of your home. This is one of the first things our HVAC experts will check because lines can become clogged with bacteria, dirt, and grime. Clogs condensate lines lead to backups and excess water draining where it shouldn’t go. Many homeowners can troubleshoot this by inspecting the condensate line. If it appears to be clogged you can disconnect the drain line from the AC unit and pour vinegar through it. Or you could gently push a long piece of wire into the condensate line to break up clogs.
  2. Evaporator Coils. The second thing we would check is your evaporator coils to see if they are freezing. If the coils freeze, they will be thawing out at some point too. The melting water can cause an overflow and drip into your home.
  3. Air Filter Problems. Another reason that evaporator coils can freeze is from having a dirty air filter or a problem with the refrigerant in your air conditioning system. An air filter is an easy thing to maintain. Depending on your system, you can clean or replace your filter regularly without hiring a professional HVAC repair person.
  4. Broken Drip Pan. Condensation normally drips off of the coils into the drip pan and then flows out of the condensate tube. If the drip pan is rusted or cracked, it could allow the water to drip into your home.
  5. Condensate Safety Float. Another vital part of the air conditioner is the condensate safety switch. If something is wrong with the condensate safety float switch, or worse yet, you don’t have one installed on an indoor portion of your system, the system will keep running in the event of a clogged condensate line. This can cause the drain pan to overflow causing water damage inside your home.

Waiting to make repairs or putting off regular maintenance can be costly and lead to more significant repairs, like the ones below.

What Types of Damage can Condensation Cause?

Excess water from your air conditioner can be bad for your AC, your home, and your health.

When there is too much water in your home, it raises the humidity of your home. Humidity means even more moisture is forming, but this time, it can be in your walls, ceiling, floors, and even rugs and furniture.

Moisture promotes the growth and spread of mold and mildew, which can lead to allergies and illnesses for the people living in the home. Mold and mildew also attract cockroaches and other pests you don’t want hanging around.

If your drain pan has been overflowing for a while, you may notice water damage in that area. Water is absorbed quickly by wood and laminate flooring, creating a buckling effect. It can also completely ruin drywall. And since drywall is useless after wet, you must replace the damaged portions.

Finally, condensation can cause your air conditioner to shut down altogether. Can you imagine going without air conditioning during a Phoenix summer? It could be brutal.

We want you to enjoy your summer without any issues related to your AC. If you notice your air conditioner is needing some attention give us a call. 602-789-3000