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leaking air handler


Why Does My Air Conditioner Leak Water?

The first time you see water leaking from your air conditioning unit, you may go into panic mode and feel you have to call your air conditioning specialist immediately. It does not have to be cause for immediate concern. It’s perfectly normal for some amount of water to leak from your unit.

At the same time, leakage from your air conditioner could be cause for concern and will require that you make a service call as quickly as possible. Because you’ll probably not be able to make the distinction, it’s best to get an expert opinion.

What is “Normal” Air Conditioner Water Leaks

Since we stated earlier that it’s perfectly normal for some amount of water to leak from your unit, you may wonder what is considered to be “normal.”

A small amount of condensation is normal when operating your air conditioning unit and the condensation will generally appear near the drain pipe. Also, if the time is very hot and humid, your a/c unit is going to work harder and you can expect to see a little puddle under the condensing unit.

Common Reasons for Air Conditioner Water Leaks

Unfortunately, there is a fairly long list of common reasons for water leaks that you should be concerned about. Following are the most common ones:

  • Low levels of refrigerant: When the refrigerant levels get low, it will generally cause the pressure in your air conditioning system to lower. This, in turn, can cause the evaporator coils to ice up. If not fixed quickly, the coils can freeze causing your drain pan to overflow and leak water.
  • Dirty air filters: Dirty air filters caused by dirt, algae and fungi, can clog the condensate drain line and restrict the air flow to the evaporator coil. This will cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. As the ice melts, it may be too much for the drip pan resulting in an overflow. To correct this, you will need to have your air filter replaced immediately. To avoid this recurring, create a schedule to have your air filter checked and replaced on a regular schedule.  We invite you to ask us about our Air Filter Program.
  • Running air conditioner in cold temperatures: While it’s rare that temperatures fall below 50 degrees in Florida, there have been several occasions in the winter months when we do experience these rather cold days and nights below 60 degrees.
  • Many homeowners may not feel it’s necessary to switch to heat. However, if your unit continues to try to cool when the temperatures are below 60 degrees, it could result in the cooling coils freezing up. 
    Drain Pan – Overflowing or Cracked: There are usually two drain pans that are installed with your unit. One is located permanently underneath your evaporator coils. The other is a removable pan which is located underneath the unit. If you’re able to do an inspection to check if the drain pan is cracked, you’d do so after turning off the unit.
    While you can add a sealant as a temporary measure, if the leak is in the removable pan, it’s best to have a professional examine and repair or replace. Because the primary drain pan is permanently in place, you’ll definitely need to have a professional take a look at it and replace it, if that’s where the problem is.


Your air conditioning unit is one of the largest investments in your home and it’s the primary way you’re able to enjoy the comfort of your home. Therefore, it makes sense that you keep your unit properly maintained, and have a maintenance plan with your air conditioning company rather than leave it to chance and wait for emergencies to arise.

True Temp, LLC is happy to discuss our maintenance plan with you, as well as keeping your air clean with our Air Filter Program. Contact Kimberly at: 772-607-1077.

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