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Leaky AC? How to Know When to Call a Pro!

Your air conditioner has likely been running full-blast for the past several months as temperatures have skyrocketed across the entire West Coast. Sometimes when your AC has been working round-the-clock, you may notice it starts leaking water. Maki Heating and Air can most definitely send out an AC repairman to assist you with this common problem, but first, letís take a look at why it happens and how to know when itís time to call our hvac company and when itís a simple fix you can easily manage yourself.

Air Conditioning Mechanics

The modern air conditioner system typically works by passing hot air brought in from outside over whatís called an evaporator coil. When this warm air passes over the coil, condensation begins to form that then drips down into an aptly named ďdrain pan.Ē This water collection tray funnels the condensation to a drain line that ideally transports the water outside of your home. Sometimes however, you will see this water dripping or seeping into the interior of your home. This is obviously a red flag that something isnít working properly, but oftentimes there is a simple solution. 

Common Causes of Leaks

One likely cause of a leaky air conditioner is simply a dirty air filter. Though a dirty filter isnít something you might initially suspect would cause a leak, it is a sneaky culprit. If the filter is too dirty it can actually impede the flow of warm air over the evaporator coil. When this happens, the coil can get too cold and freeze completely. When the coil later defrosts, all that ice melts into water, and your drainage pan responsible for collecting normal condensation can become too full and leak. We recommend changing your air filter every 30 days to avoid this problem. A clean air filter will also help you avoid higher bills and wasted energy from an air conditioning unit thatís working too hard to pull air through a dirty filter.

Another common reason your air conditioner might be leaking is a blocked drain line. If everything is working correctly, the condensation that drips into the drain pan is supposed to funnel out of your home via a drain line. If that line is clogged with dirt, leaves, or other debris however, it can be impossible for the water to pass through, therefore causing it to leak inside your home. A simple fix for this is using a special pipe cleaner or shop vac (make sure itís a wet/dry vac to avoid any electrical safety issues) to unclog the drain line. If the line is too long and these tools are unsuccessful, call Maki for help! We can assist with a professional high-powered vacuum cleaner made specifically for this purpose. 

A rusty drain pan is an additional reason your AC unit might be leaking, though this is typically only seen in air conditioning systems that are more than a decade old. If the drain pan is damaged, most commonly due to rust, condensation may be leaking from it before it is able to funnel into the drain line and out of your house. If this is the case, a new drain pan can be ordered and you can simply replace it yourself or you can call us to handle it for you.

Finally, if your air conditioner is leaking and you are also noticing your home is not being cooled down efficiently, check the level of refrigerant in your system. If the refrigerant is too low, decreasing pressure in the unit can cause the condensation coil to freeze, just like it can with a dirty air filter, and the same exact problem ensues.

Weíre Here to Help!

If you catch a leak early, it will often be an easy fix whether you repair your air conditioner yourself or if you call us at Maki Electrical, Heating, and Air to provide air conditioner service. If the leak goes unnoticed for quite some time however, you run the risk of it causing more damage and even having to replace your entire heating and air conditioning unit. When searching Google for a ďheat and air company near meĒ youíre likely to get results for many local AC companies that take a long time to get back to you, which is not acceptable in the hot summer months, especially if you are living without efficient air conditioning!

At Maki Heating and Air in Sacramento we take satisfaction in our prompt response time, professional repairmen and women, and the ability to provide a wide range of both heat and cooling services. When youíre ready to give our certified HVAC inspectors at Maki a call for a leak repair, duct clean, HVAC inspection, or to provide any other needed air conditioner service, you can reach us at (530) 885-3449 or (916) 782-9242. We are proud to be the most reliable Sacramento HVAC company and look forward to helping you stay cool this summer!

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