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AC leaking water outside unit

Each summer seems more brutal than the other, so we turn to our air conditioner for reliable cooling. All seems well until you notice your air conditioner leaking water outside. Is that puddle of water a plumbing issue, or is it a signal of a faulty HVAC system? 


Our usual reaction to such a scenario is panicking. But don’t overreact just yet! It is common to have little water surrounding the outdoor unit. This article will tackle the possible reasons behind it to help you further assess the situation. 

Why could there be water?


With an air conditioner leaking water outside, it is customary to overthink the possible reasons behind it. But before we tackle the potential issues contributing to this, let us first understand why water could be present. 


First, we must learn about what dew point temperature is. Dew point temperature is the specific temperature wherein air cannot contain moisture. When this happens, condensate starts to build. When your outdoor unit’s temperature decreases, it reaches the dew point temperature. As this happens, water rushes from the coil and then settles in the unit’s bottom part. As a result, you can see minimal to average water within the outside AC unit. 


Is this normal? As mentioned above, water leaks are a usual scenario. They are part of the actual process involved with your air conditioner. But when it is beyond the minimal amount, it’s a sign that there might be something wrong with your air conditioner. 


Possible Reasons Behind Water Leaks


While it is normal to have an air conditioner leaking water outside with minimal amounts, excessive water pooling is not a good sign. If you notice that dripping is beyond normal, it’s time to call your trusted HVAC technician for help. They are the best resort in figuring out which of the below reasons could trigger this.


The primary culprit could be your air filters. When they get clogged with dirt, they obstruct the pathways of airflow. As a result, your standard cooling procedure can be affected. Regular cleaning and replacement are the answers to this. The following possible reason is having a colder outdoor temperature. When the temperature outside drops to sixteen degrees Celsius, your drain pan can overflow. Chances are it can be frigid than the average standard operating temperature. Give your thermostat a quick check and make sure it does not have any direct exposure to a source of heat. It can be why it triggers your AC to function even in a colder setting.


Lastly, give your condensate pans a check. This component catches the water that your AC sheds. Over time, they could bear cracks and tears that can lead to water leaks. While you can check them, it is best to consult a professional. If they are damaged, they can perform a replacement right away.




An air conditioner leaking water outside isn’t always a huge issue that should worry you. But even if it’s normal, it doesn’t mean that you should disregard it. Like how you keep an eye out to your furnace blowing cold air, or for signs that it is leading to system failure; ensure that you keep an eye out to avoid neglecting potential issues that could lead to overall HVAC breakdown. AC maintenance is just as important as your furnace maintenance


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