What Causes Condensation on Air Conditioners? | eHow

Does your air conditioner look like it’s feeling the heat, sweating alongside you in the stifling summer weather? Condensation coming from cooling units is common in the summer months. What’s causing it, and is it good or bad for your system? The pros at H&H Heating & Cooling have the answers to all of your condensation questions.

What Causes Condensation on Air Conditioners?

The same process that causes a cold glass of iced tea to form water droplets on its exterior in the summer causes condensation on your air conditioner. As your system’s evaporator coil cools warm air that passes over it, absorbing heat and moisture from the air, condensation forms. As this condensation drips down, it collects in your system’s drain pan and (if it’s properly maintained and not clogged) through the condensate drain line and out of your home.

Can Condensation Hurt My AC System?

Condensation is normal for properly running air conditioning systems. Excess condensation, like sweating ducts and drips from outside the unit cabinet indicates a problem with your unit and points to an HVAC system issue that requires emergency HVAC repair service. Without prompt attention, excess condensation could overwhelm your air conditioner’s drainage system, causing damage within your home. This damage can range from high humidity levels that lead to mold and mildew proliferation and spots, to structural damage from drainage water that accumulates and puddles.

What HVAC System Issues Result in Condensation?

  • Condensation Pan problems
    Your A/C unit condensation pan collects condensate water from the evapaorator and sends it to an external drain however overtime condensate pans can crack which can lead to water running through the unit and spilling out causing damage to the unit and to the home.
  • Clogged or Dislodged Drain Line
    If bacteria and fungus buildup in the drain line, it can become clogged. It is also not uncommon for drain lines to become dislodged or outdoor drain line components to become obstructed. When this happens, your condensation pan will overflow, causing water to leak into your home.
  • Broken Condensate Pump
    In homes with basements, a pump assists in the removal of water from your system. If this pump breaks, water will leak into your basement. Because this area of the home is not commonly frequented, extensive damage could occur before you notice drainage issues.
  • Dirty Air Filter Leading to Frozen Evaporator Coil
    Dirty home air filters don’t facilitate adequate airflow over the evaporator coil. Without proper airflow, the coil gets too cold and freezes. When this ice melts, dripping into the condensation pan, it can overflow.
  • Low Refrigerant Charge
    If your system is low on refrigerant, this can also cause the evaporator coil to freeze, which likewise can result in an overflowing condensation pan as ice melts.

Sweating system condensation issues? Address them quickly with the help of your local heating and air conditioning service providers at H&H Heating & Cooling today.