Air Conditioner Leaking/Dripping [Proven Solutions]

One of the most frustrating parts of having an air conditioner is if it starts leaking. If you have the problem of an air conditioner leaking, this article proffers proven solutions.

Air Conditioner Leaking Water Inside the House – What to Do

Check the drain line if you find your air conditioner leaking water inside the house. The most likely reason is a clogged drain line. Locate the unit’s drain pan and line to see if anything obstructs them. If the drain line is clogged, it means dirt and debris have filled the drain pan and found their way into the line. As a result, water does not flow out, and it backs up and flows out of the pan into the house. And if you use a central air conditioner, the water will leak through the ceiling.

Turn off the air conditioner and disconnect it from electric power. Working on an electrical appliance with water requires removing electric power to prevent electric shock. Next, remove the drain pan and empty it, and use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to clear the drain line. If you have no access to a vacuum, use a solution of water and bleach or vinegar for the same purpose.

Clean the drain pan and put it back in place. Now, rinse the drain line with water until it runs free and clear. Finally, reconnect the air conditioner to electric power, allow it to run for some time, and monitor it for leakages. If the leaking continues, you will need professional help from an HVAC technician. This article is an example of how to fix a leaking or dripping air conditioner.

Other Sources of Leakages from the Air Conditioner

1. Air Filter

It is crucial to check the filter every two weeks and wash it if it is dirty. Some manufacturers recommend changing the filters every month, while others recommend replacing them every three months. You may want to clean it regularly to maintain the air conditioner.

Pull the filter out of the indoor unit and put it in a container or sink. Note that if you use a portable air conditioner, there will be more than one air filter, one at the top and the other at the bottom. Run warm water over the filter and clean it with mild dishwashing soap. Thoroughly rinse it, dry it with a lint-free cloth, and allow it to air-dry.

A dirty air filter will not only restrict the flow of cold air within the home, but it will also cause the evaporator coil to freeze. When it stops airflow, the cold air remains trapped within the coil, and it eventually freezes. And if the evaporator coil freezes and melts, it will produce too much water and cause the drain pan to overflow. As a result, the excess water will leak into the house.

2. Insufficient Refrigerant

Low pressure inside the air conditioning system causes the evaporator coil to freeze. And as explained above, it will produce more water than the air conditioner drain pan can carry, leading to an overflow. One primary reason for low pressure is decreased refrigerant in the closed system.

Since it is a closed system, the only way the refrigerant reduces is if there is a leak. Some leaks in the closed system can be repaired with patches, while others cannot. If the leak is detected on time, an HVAC technician can fix it. Otherwise, you may need a new air conditioning unit.

3. Incorrect Installation

Whether you are using a central air conditioner, window or wall unit, or split unit, it needs to be correctly installed for it to work. Proper air conditioner functions become impeded if the installation is wrong, and it will leak water even if it runs. It is crucial to contact the installation team for an inspection if you suspect the leakage stems from an incorrect installation.

In addition to the above, the condensate drain pump may be malfunctioning, or the drain pan may be cracked. An old air conditioner is likely to have more faulty parts than a new one. The best step is to hire an HVAC technician to check the unit thoroughly and fix obvious problems.

Possible Causes of a Clogged Drain Line

The condensate drain does not just become obstructed; dirt and debris usually clog it and prevent condensate from freely flowing out. Therefore, check the air filter; most air conditioner users do not typically inspect the filters as regularly as they should. Consequently, they get too dirty and cause device malfunctions.

Also, if the drain line is kinked or twisted for any reason, condensate will not quickly flow out. And if the condensate is more than the outflow, it will overflow the drain pan. It is crucial for a portable air conditioner to check the water collection tank from time to time, even if the unit automatically drains. This is especially true in humid weather.

Air Conditioner Dripping Water Outside – How to Fix

Several factors lead to your air conditioner leaking water outside the house. While it may look alarming to see water dripping from the unit to the floor outside the house, it is not entirely unusual. It is normal to see some water dripping from the drain line around the outside unit, especially on a hot day. 

But if the dripping water is excessive, check the following and fix them if necessary:

1. Drain Pan

The drain pan may be perforated or cracked due to pressure, usage, or age. Whatever the case, the drain pan needs a replacement to prevent the water from dripping. Even if the condensate is not excessive, the drain will be unable to hold the water, so it leaks and seems as if the unit is leaking.

If the drain pan is clogged with dirt, it is essential to use a shop vacuum to clear it. Then, clean the pan with bleach and water to remove dirt and algae if necessary.

2. Drain Line

As with the drain pan, the drain line may be obstructed with debris. So, see if water flows out the drain line and stops dripping after cleaning the pan. If the problem continues, use the shop vacuum to clear the drain line. The dripping should stop after clearing the drain because condensate will stop backing up into the drain pan.

Sometimes, the drain line becomes damaged. So, use the services of an HVAC technician to inspect and replace the line if necessary in the event of not being able to clear or fix the dripping water.

3. Evaporator Coils

A frozen air conditioner evaporator coil will cause too much water to pool outside the house. The reason is that when the ice melts, it overflows the drain pan. One reason the evaporator freezes is a dirty air filter. Therefore, clean the filter and repeat the process every two weeks or every month.

Air Conditioner in RV Dripping Water Inside – Solved

The following are possible reasons your RV air conditioner is dripping water inside:

1. Too Much Space in Gasket

The gasket keeps the air conditioner sealed to the roof of the RV. Without it, the air conditioner cannot sit on the roof. However, there is a recommended amount of space between the gasket and unit, and it should not be less than four inches. If this gap is too small, the air conditioner will be too tight, and the unit will be too loose if it is too large. This is a primary reason for a leaking RV air conditioner.

You can hire a technician to inspect the gasket and determine whether or not the gap is correct. They can also check if the gasket needs a replacement, especially if the RV air conditioner is old. Age or wear and tear is another reason for your RV’s leaking air conditioning unit.

2. Grimy Drain Pan

The drain pan in the air conditioner may be too dirty, preventing water from flowing out of the unit. So, go to the roof of the air conditioner and find the shroud covering the air conditioner. It acts as a protective cover for the unit. Next, locate the drain pan; you may see a cover over it. Remove the lid and inspect the pan.

If it is grimy, remove and clean it with water and a cleaning agent. Also, inspect the evaporator coil. A dirty evaporator coil easily soils the pan and prevents drainage. And a dirty air filter soils the evaporator coil. If the coil is dirty, the air conditioner will leak water because of the excess water from the melting ice.

Clean the evaporator coil and the drain pan if necessary, and include the air filter in the mix. This is especially true if you have never cleaned the filter. Afterward, reassemble the air conditioner, turn it on, wait for it to run, and monitor it for leakages.

It is crucial to use the services of an HVAC technician to clean the evaporator coil, especially if you have never done it before now. The coil is fragile and, if punctured, will damage the entire unit.

3. Obstructed Drain Line

After cleaning the drain pan, the next part to check is the drain line. Some of the dirt in the pan may have found its way into the lien, obstructing it. As a result, the water cannot drain even if the drain pan is clean. The water will eventually find its way inside the RV.

Disconnect the air conditioner from electric power and inspect the pan. Empty it if necessary and check the end of the drain line. If you find dirt there, it may indicate that there is more inside.

Try clearing the dirt from the end as much as possible. Use a wet/dry vacuum for the job if you can get your hands on one. Otherwise, use bleach to clean the drain line until it runs free and clear. Bleach will also prevent the growth of mold and algae. If you are unsure of doing the job yourself, it is best to employ the services of a professional HVAC technician to avoid damaging the air conditioner.

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Air Conditioner Condensation Leak in Car – Quick Fix

It is normal for your car’s AC to leak water under or outside. During regular operation, the air conditioner produces moisture that needs to be drained, and the water you see is the air conditioner disposing of the accumulated condensate. 

You should worry if the water is leaking excessively or inside the car. Check the following if your car’s air conditioner is leaking water:

1. Condensate Drain Line

The first thing to check in your car is the condensate drain line. Two things can go wrong with it: one is that it is blocked, and two is a disconnection from the ventilation system.

If the drain line is blocked with dirt, bend and squeeze the hose to release debris inside it. You will find it under the evaporator coil in the passenger compartment. It may also help to insert a screwdriver into the drain line to push out the dirt obstructing it. 

Then, rinse it with water to fully clean it. Use the screwdriver carefully to avoid damaging the ventilation system when clearing the line. Allow a technician to clean it if you are unsure of the steps.

But if cleaning the drain line does not work, it may be that it is not correctly fixed to the ventilation system. Once you have the correct location of the drain, find the ventilation system’s lowest end. If it is free, it means the drain line is not connected. You can try fixing it yourself or hire a technician to do the job.

2. Drain Pan

If the pan that collects water is cracked or punctured, water will leak into the car. Sometimes, minor damage can be managed; an auto technician can seal it with Epoxy glue or another strong sealant. But if the damage is significant, the technician will need to replace the pan if you want the leakage to stop.

3. Refrigerant

When the sealed system loses a significant amount of refrigerant, the air conditioner’s pressure will drop, causing the evaporator coil to freeze. Excessive freezing equals excessive water collection, which may leak into the car. You cannot fix the refrigerant problem yourself; it needs the attention of a certified technician. Therefore, take the car to an auto shop for servicing.

4. Air Filters

Remove and clean the air filter for the air conditioner in your car every month. And when it is due for a replacement, take it to a technician or replace it yourself. Never leave a dirty filter too long in the air conditioner, or it will cause damage.

It is crucial to inspect and clean your car’s air conditioner filters every month. The usage of the air conditioner means it will easily gather dirt, clogging the filters. Consequently, the dirt will find its way to other internal parts of the air conditioner, including the evaporator coil.

When dirt coats the coil, it keeps it from releasing cold air, causing freezing. And when the evaporator coil freezes and thaws, it causes excessive water, which may leak into the car.

Air Conditioner Dripping Ice – Solution

Your air conditioner is dripping ice for a number of reasons. One possibility is that it has insufficient refrigerant. Others are dirty filters, cold outside weather, dirty evaporator coil, and mechanical failure.

It is uncommon for an air conditioner to freeze to the point of dripping ice. So, check the refrigerant level if it happens. In the event of having low refrigerant, it means the closed system has leaks that a certified technician should fix. They will detect the leak, patch it, and recharge the system. In some cases, the only solution is to replace the entire unit.

If the air conditioner has dirty filters, the best step is to clean them. Typically, air passes through the intake vents, flows through the filters, and passes over the evaporator coil for cooling. But if the filters are dirty, they will restrict the airflow and cause the evaporator coil to freeze. Always check and clean the filters, and replace them when due.

The evaporator coil can get dirty and freeze, especially if the air filters are always dirty. Turn the air conditioner off if you see the coil is frozen and allow it to thaw. That will mean excess water, and if the weather is cold, it may freeze. Ensure you empty the water collection tank with a portable air conditioner or channel the drain line outside.

A mechanical failure means possibly broken valves, loose wires, twisted refrigerant lines, a defective fan, or even an obstructed condensate drain. If you suspect a mechanical failure with the air conditioning system, hire a technician to service the unit.

Lastly, it is ideal to turn off the air conditioner when the weather is cold, below sixty-two degrees. An air conditioner does not do well when the temperature is too low; otherwise, the condensing unit will freeze and may stop working. Also, keep it off when going to bed if the weather prediction suggests temperatures below this point.

Air Conditioner Leaking Freon – What to Do

If you suspect or discover that your air conditioner is leaking frozen, the first step is to turn it off. Next, open windows and doors to allow fresh air to flow across the room and remove the smell. Then, contact a technician to check the air conditioner and fix the leak.

Freon is a gas used in air conditioners and refrigerators for cooling. It is a brand name for the refrigerant; a company named its product Freon, so it is easily associated with refrigerants. The gas is usually odorless, but some people had reported smelling a faintly oily odor when it was leaking, especially when a significant amount has leaked from the sealed system. Also, it is dangerous to health to inhale a large amount of Freon.

It is important to fix the leak because the gas is leaking whether or not the air conditioner is running. Typically, Freon should never leak from the sealed system; you never have to recharge it because the system recycles it over and again. But if there is a leak, and you will know it if you smell the gas or notice a reduction in cooling, fix it as soon as possible. Otherwise, the gas will keep leaking and eventually damage the air conditioner. Turning the unit off does not stop the leak.

Air Conditioner Gas Leak Test

There are several ways to test for a gas leak from your air conditioner. The first way is the smell; it is a little intense, so it is not difficult to miss. However, most refrigerant leaks do not happen inside the house. They are usually outside, where air disperses the smell before you can catch it. It makes detecting a leak by smell difficult.

If this method does not work, inspect the cooling and refrigerant lines. Stains on them may indicate a leak. The same applies if oil leaks from the same pipes. Contact a technician as soon as you notice this leak; the oil leak may also indicate a problem with the compressor.

Furthermore, a flame burner can help you determine whether or not there is a gas leak. Get a portable one. Light it, and move it along the cooling lines. If the line shave sprung a leak, the green flame of the burner would change to bluish-green. But you must use this method carefully to avoid causing any damage.

Additionally, check the thermostatic expansion valve; the air conditioner is leaking gas if it is humming. You may have to turn off appliances that generate noise because it may be difficult to hear the sound if there is background noise. If you do, get professional help.

Finally, use a leak detector or liquid tracer. It is a safe and sure way to detect gas leaks in your air conditioner. Within seconds, you will tell if you need professional help or not. Ask any store around you for a tracer or detector, or buy one online.

Causes of Air Conditioner Gas Leak

Check the Schrader valve. If the seal over the valve is broken, it will leak gas. While it is not a common occurrence, it is best to inspect it because age and overuse can wear it out. Mechanical damage to the refrigerant lines will cause leakages. And it is a real danger the longer you use the air conditioner. It is crucial to run maintenance checks on the unit from time to time.

Corrosion is, perhaps, the primary reason an air conditioner springs a gas leak. As much as we would like to avoid it, the unit will eventually get corroded. Formicary or pitting corrosion can damage the cooling lines and coils in the air conditioner, leading to leaks. 

These types of corrosion happen due to exposure to formic or acetic acids in cleaning agents or paint, fluoride or chloride in water or cleaning supplies. If you clean your air conditioner with household agents, it may be destroying the cooling lines and heading to a gas leak.

Other possible causes of gas leaks in an air conditioner are incorrect control valve connections or poorly soldered controls. Whatever the case may be, the best step is to hire professional help and find a permanent fix to the problem.

Air Conditioner Leaking Green Fluid – Quick Fix

The green fluid you see leaking from your air conditioner may be the oil and refrigerant mixed in the compressor. It means the system has a hole or the expansion valve is damaged. The color is dye added to the mix to help you detect a leak. It is crucial to call for professional help as soon as you notice this leak as it may damage the air conditioner.

Air Conditioner Leaking Under Dashboard – Quick Fix

The condensate drain may be clogged, the air filter may be dirty, the drain pan may be cracked, or the refrigerant may be low. These are possible causes your car’s air conditioner may be leaking water under the dashboard.

But if you find an oily leak or gas leak under the dashboard, take the car to an auto mechanic for servicing. There may be a punctured refrigerant line; the technician is in the best place to find the source of the leak and fix it.

Air Conditioner Leaking Water After Rain – What to Do

You may have to use the Dry mode of operation to remove the humidity from the air. When it rains, the air may get too humid and increase the amount of condensate from the air conditioner. This is especially true if it is the monsoon season. 

Fortunately, it is usually nothing to panic about; all you have to do is empty the drain pan or water collection tank. Also, ensure the drain line is free of obstruction because a clogged line affects the free flow of water out of the air conditioner.

Air Conditioner Leaking Water at Furnace – Solved

Turn off the air conditioner if you notice it is leaking water at the furnace. It is possible that both the air conditioner and furnace use the same drain line. So if it is clogged, the water may find a way out through the furnace. Press the Power button to turn it off and pull the power cord from the wall outlet. If that is not possible, turn off the breaker.

The drain line may be loose and this may happen if you recently cleaned around the unit. Any other factor may have caused the disconnection. Check to see if the drain line fully aligns with the output point from the air conditioner. Adjust the line if it is not and wait to see if the problem is fixed.

Otherwise, check the drain line for obstructions, the drain pan for cracks, and the evaporator coil to see if it is frozen. These are possible reasons water is leaking from the furnace area, especially when the air conditioner is running.

Air Conditioner Not Dripping Water Outside – How to Fix

The air from the air conditioner may be dry and as a result, cannot produce condensation. This process is normal and should not be a source of worry if the outside air is also dry. But it should not be a normal occurrence. So, if your air conditioner never drips water or suddenly stops dripping water, it requires servicing.

You can contact a qualified HVAC technician to remove the water from the unit or try removing it yourself. This step is important because the air conditioner does not need water stored in it. Prolonged water storage leads to mold growth and contamination, which will pollute the air in the house.

The drainage system should optimally work if your air conditioner is in good working condition. If you have to empty the unit too often, even when the air is not humid, you have a problem that needs fixing.

Can an Air Conditioner Leak Carbon Monoxide?

An air conditioner cannot leak or produce carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide emits from devices that use fuel, such as a generator. Since electricity powers and controls an air conditioner, it is impossible for it to leak carbon monoxide into your home or even outside. If you notice CO inside or outside, there are other possible sources. Check every appliance or device that uses fuel, gas, charcoal, or wood.

Can an AC Leak be Dangerous?

A leak from an air conditioner may be dangerous if it is excessive. Water dripping into your home may not be anything to worry about unless it damages furniture and wood flooring. It can also cause mold growth and bacteria invasion, which can be difficult to remove.

A gas leak in your home from your air conditioner is more dangerous to health than a water leak. If you suspect it, turn off the air conditioner. It is usually difficult to detect and may have leaked in large amounts before detection. That is unless it is leaking outside the home. 

The problem with a gas leak in the outside condensing unit may not be easily detected because the air blows the gas away. It may be too late before you detect it. But some manufacturers inject dye into the system to help leak detection.

However, if the leak is inside the house, you may smell a faint oily odor. Open doors and windows after turning off the air conditioner and contact the manufacturer for professional help. Alternatively, employ the services of a certified technician to check and fix the air conditioner.

Does Air Conditioner Leak Sealer Work? 

Most modern air conditioner leak sealers work. They are specially formulated to seal air conditioners. You can ask the air conditioner manufacturer for recommendations for leak sealers because there are many reliable ones. The argument is that manufacturing materials for these sealants tend to be highly flammable. They can also obstruct valves and interfere with appliance testing. However, that is not the case with every sealant.


Always find a permanent solution to a leak in an air conditioner, whether or not it is a water leak. An air conditioner leaking water can cause mold growth or irreparable damage to your home. Also, such a leak can potentially damage the air conditioner. More importantly, a gas leak is dangerous to health. Therefore, contact the manufacturer or hire an independent technician to fix the problem.

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