What To Do With an Air Handler Leaking Water

Your air conditioning system could be essential during the warm summer months, depending on where you live. In many areas across the country, temperatures can reach over 100 degrees during the summer. In many instances, hot summer temperatures are also accompanied by equally high humidity levels. If this is the case where you live, your AC unit probably works tirelessly over the summer to keep your home cool and comfortable.

Most HVAC experts and system manufacturers agree that your system should last around 20 years. It is possible to extend the life of your unit beyond 20 years if you maintain the equipment. Even with great care, however, some issues can still arise. One common problem that many people experience is leaking water. If you find unexpected water damage and believe your AC air handler is to blame, it is best to get the problem taken care of as soon as possible. Water damage can lead to costly repairs, which could also be a sign of larger problems.

If you discover the air handler leaking water, you must address the situation. There are a few reasons why you may have a problem. You can address some of the issues yourself, and others you may need a qualified HVAC technician to remedy. Let’s take a closer look at what you should do about an air handler leaking.

Water Condensate

The job of your air conditioner is to keep your home cool and remove the moisture or humidity from your indoor air. Under normal operation, air passes over the evaporator coils in your air conditioner, cools it down, and removes humidity. The humidity left behind forms condensate on the coils and drips into the drain pan. Condensate is liquid water vapor. It is the result of the air cooling processes. Usually, the condensate accumulates in the drain pan and is taken away through the drain line and into the yard. As long as your system is functioning correctly, you should not have an issue with any water leak. However, when things like a clogged drain line occur, you could have water problems associated with your air handler.

Clogged Drain Line


If you notice a moisture issue with your air handler, it could be a simple problem with a clogged AC drain line. As discussed, when the humidity from the air is removed, it turns into water vapor that is controlled by your AC unit. The water will accumulate if the copper or PVC pipe running from your drain pan gets clogged. Dirt, dust, pollen, and other substances can collect on your evaporator coils and eventually make their way into the pipe and clog it up. Additionally, leaves and debris from storms could also block the pipe from the outside. It is as easy as clearing the pipe to correct the issue in either situation. This is the most common reason for water issues with your air handler.

Evaporator Coil Issues


Aside from a clogged drain line, your evaporator coils could be responsible for excessive water that is leaking into your house. If your coils are dirty, your air filters are dirty, or you have low refrigerant, the AC unit could be working harder than necessary. When this happens, it is common for the evaporator coils to freeze up during operation. When the coils thaw out, the excessive water generated could overwhelm the condensate pan and spill out onto the floor. If your AC is freezing over, you should check your air filters and the condition of the coils. Aside from this, you might need to call an HVAC mechanic to investigate the issue.

If you have an air handler leaking, you need to address the problem sooner rather than later. Leaking equipment could cause trouble for your home and signal a larger issue with your AC. The best way to prevent these issues is to have your AC system regularly serviced by a qualified technician.