Air conditioners are simple appliances that can last for years with a bit of regular maintenance. Modern air conditioners rarely fail during their life, but you may see small issues from time to time.

One of the most common problems with air conditioners is leaking water. This can occur in both split systems and ducted air conditioners. Water leaks are usually minor issues, but they’re a sign that your air conditioning isn’t working properly.

In this article we’ll learn whether water leaking from an air conditioner is dangerous, as well as what you can do to repair the issue.

Is Water Leaking From an Air Conditioner Dangerous

No. For reverse cycle split and ducted air conditioners, water leaking from the condensate drains is normal. However, water that’s leaking from an air conditioner into a ceiling cavity or down a wall is a hazard and should be investigated ASAP.

The exception to this is where water leaks cause mould and mildew to grow. Some types of mould can be harmful to humans, especially if you already have breathing difficulties. Water leaks should be repaired as soon as possible to avoid mould growth and damage to your property.

Air conditioners can also leak refrigerant. Refrigerant can be extremely toxic to humans and household pets. It’s uncommon for air conditioners to leak refrigerant in liquid form. Refrigerants are only liquid when under pressure inside your air conditioning system, so invisible gas leaks are more common.

Contact an air conditioning technician immediately if you think your system is leaking refrigerant.

Causes of Air Conditioner Water Leaks

Water leaks are one of the most common problems with air conditioners. The cause is usually easy to identify for an experienced refrigeration technician, and they’ll be able to fix the leak and protect your home from damage.

An air conditioner that’s leaking water is usually caused by:

  • Clogged condensate drain.
    Air conditioners extract small amounts of water from the air while in use. This water condensates on the internal components and drips into a drain tray. If this drain tray becomes clogged or overflows, it can cause water to leak from the unit into the ceiling.
  • Ice on the evaporator coils.
    The evaporator coil in your air conditioner is responsible for absorbing heat from the air. Ice on the coil is an indication of a low pressure, temperature, or heat absorption problem. When this ice melts, it will cause a water leak inside the home.
  • Dirty air filter.
    Air conditioners filter the air that passes through the system. A blocked filter can prevent the system from working properly, causing issues like ice on the evaporator coils.

It’s normal for a small amount of water to drip from the outdoor drain hose while an air conditioner is in use. These hoses are connected to the condensation drain inside the roof or internal wall unit. If this hose drips slowly while the air conditioner is running, that’s a sign everything is working normally.

How to Fix an Air Conditioner Water Leak Inside Your Home

Water may leak from the internal unit of your air conditioner. The best thing you can do to fix the issue is speak to a professional technician.

Air conditioners need to be regularly serviced and cleaned. This helps prevent little issues like water leaks. In between professional maintenance appointments you can fix leaks by:

  1. Opening the front panel of the internal wall unit. Refer to your owners manual if you’re unsure how to remove the panel.
  2. Inspect and remove the air filter. You can use a garden hose to clean the air filter if it looks dusty.
  3. Inspect the evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is the mass of metal fins inside the unit. If it looks dusty or icy, you’ll need to call a technician to fix the issue.
  4. Inspect the condensation drain at the bottom of the unit to make sure it’s not blocked. If the drain is blocked by mould or dust, contact a technician and let them deal with the issue.

Most water leaks are caused by minor issues. A professional air conditioning technician will usually be able to repair the problem as part of your regular maintenance appointment.

Keep in mind that water leaks can be a sign of a bigger problem, so it’s better to book a maintenance appointment sooner rather than later.

Get Your Air Conditioner Ready for Summer with the Air Conditioning Doctor!

Summer is the busiest time of the year for air conditioning. If your air conditioning works hard during the hottest months, you may run into issues with icing and water leaks. The good news is that those problems are easy to prevent with help from the Air Conditioning Doctor!

The Air Conditioning Doctor specialises in the service and repair of air conditioning systems across Adelaide. We work on reverse cycle split systems and ducted air conditioners from all major manufacturers. With decades of industry experience, we can make light work of issues such as water leaks.

Get in touch to book an appointment, or give us a call if there’s a problem with your air conditioning!

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