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Why is Your HVAC System Leaking?

HVAC system leaks are a common part of homeownership. However, many homeowners are unaware of just how easy they are to identify and fix, and how they can prevent them from happening in the first place. Knowing just a few, easy to remember pieces of information can help save any homeowner time, money, and frustration when an air conditioner suddenly starts leaking and/or stops working.

Why HVAC System Leaks Can Happen

reasons for hvac leaksThe majority of HVAC systems in the home are considered fluid-based heat exchangers that work on a closed-loop system. The fluid, in this case, it's called refrigerant, constantly cycles through the system while it is on.

It is condensed, then compressed, and finally turned into a gas before being dried out and changing back to a liquid. For an air conditioning unit to work correctly, there must be an appropriate amount of refrigerant cycling through the system at all times. One reason that HVAC system leaks occur is due to clogged air filters.

When the air filter is clogged, the air is unable to pass efficiently through them. A side effect of that is that the evaporator coils have a tendency to freeze up. This makes ice form on them, which eventually will melt and drip. Cracked overflow drain pans can also contribute to HVAC system leaks, as can a clogged drain line (which can get clogged with algae, debris, and fungi).

How To Fix HVAC System Leaks

In most cases, fixing HVAC system leaks is fairly straightforward. Once the leak is identified and the cause is found, the part causing the trouble usually just needs to be replaced. As discussed above, commonly that comes down to three different parts. If the filter is the culprit, it simply needs to be replaced. This can be done easily by the homeowner with little to no training.

fixing hvac leaks

Drain pans that have either cracked just need to be inspected. If the cracks are small, they can often be fixed with epoxy glue. If they are larger or if the leaks continue, they will need to be replaced.

If neither of those options stops the leak, it is likely that there is a clogged drain line. This will need to be evaluated and replaced by a trained professional, as it can get complicated to fix.

How Homeowners Can Prevent HVAC System Leaks

preventing hvac leaksThere are a few reasons why HVAC system leaks happen, but how can homeowners prevent them? The tricky part about this is that HVAC system leaks mostly happen with the refrigerant in its gas state. So, to really prevent HVAC system leaks, the key is regular maintenance.

According to most air conditioning professionals, HVAC systems should be serviced at least once a year. Small leaks that many homeowners can easily miss are obvious to a trained professional. They can also check to make sure all the parts that commonly leak - the accumulator, capillary tube, and valve - are in correct working order.

One other way that HVAC system leaks are prevented by professionals is by verifying that the unit has the proper amount of refrigerant in it. If there is too little, any handling or charging of the refrigerant should not be attempted by the homeowner due to the risk of injury.

Something homeowners can safely do, however, is to make sure to check and change their air filters regularly. This should happen roughly every 30 - 90 days, depending on how much the system is used. It is also recommended to pour 8oz of bleach down the drain line once yearly to help stop algae and fungi from forming.

About AAA Modern Air

A family-owned and operated business since 1969, AAA Modern Air is one of the largest air conditioner installers in Dania Beach, FL. Their goal is to always provide on-time, courteous, professional, and cost-effective services to every customer, every time. AAA Modern Air offers multiple air conditioning and duct services, including repairs, installation, cleaning, and maintenance.