It's the middle of summer, and you've just turned on your air conditioner to get some relief from the heat. But as the cool air starts blowing, you notice water dripping from the vents and accumulating on the floor. Uh oh. That's not supposed to happen.
Excessive condensation is a sign that something's not right with your AC system. So, what causes excessive condensation from air conditioning? It could be your unit is low on coolant levels, the air filters are dirty, or that it might be time to replace your outdated unit.
Here are 7 potential culprits behind the buildup of moisture.
Low refrigerant levels can occur slowly over time due to small leaks in the AC system or can happen suddenly if there is a major leak. Some signs that refrigerant levels are getting too low include:
Don't ignore signs of low refrigerant or leaks! Have an HVAC technician inspect the system and top off the refrigerant levels. A leak may need to be repaired to prevent recurrence of the issue. Monitoring refrigerant levels is key to preventing condensation and ensuring efficient operations.
When was the last time you changed your AC's air filter? A clogged, dirty filter restricts proper airflow through the system. This causes the evaporator coils to operate at colder temperatures than normal, resulting in extra condensation buildup. Changing the filter allows air to flow freely again and brings the coils back up to the proper temp. Take a minute to check your filter - a clean one can work wonders!
An improper drainage setup is one of the most common reasons for overflowing condensation from AC systems. Here are some key problems to look out for:
Taking steps to ensure clear, properly sloped drain lines are key to preventing condensation overflow. Consult HVAC manuals for drainage requirements specific to your system. Proper drainage setup makes all the difference!
Don't crank your AC down to arctic temperatures! The colder you set your thermostat, the harder the system has to work to reach that temp. This strains the unit and results in extra cold evaporator coils that attract moisture. Set your thermostat at a reasonable level - somewhere between 68-72 degrees F is optimal. The system will remove humidity efficiently without being overburdened.
When the humidity levels outside are high, it poses challenges for your air conditioner. Your AC unit works by pulling hot, humid air from your home into the system. It cools this air down to remove moisture, then pumps the now cool, dry air back into your rooms.
However, during periods of extreme humidity, the outdoor air is already saturated with moisture. This taxes your AC system as it now has to work extra hard to wring all that excess moisture from the air before cooling and recirculating it. The evaporator coils have to drop to very cold temperatures to sufficiently remove the high moisture content.
This strain on your AC from overly humid outdoor air can lead to ice buildup on the coils. It also results in much more condensation dripping from the unit. No matter how efficiently your AC operates, very humid external conditions decrease its ability to effectively lower indoor humidity levels.
Running a dehumidifier inside can help ease the burden by dealing with some of the humidity in the home. Keeping doors and windows closed also minimizes the amount of humid outdoor air coming inside. While at the mercy of Mother Nature, being aware of high humidity days and taking steps to reduce moisture can help keep your AC condensation troubles in check.
Having an AC unit that's too large for your space can cause problems beyond just condensation buildup. Here are some other effects of an oversized unit:
When it's time to replace your AC system, make sure it's sized appropriately for your home's square footage. A unit that's too large causes inefficiency, higher costs, and potential repairs down the road. Right-sized = comfort for you and your wallet!
While a minor issue, an AC unit that is not level can contribute to condensation drainage problems. The coils may not drain properly, resulting in excess moisture. Make sure your outdoor AC compressor unit is installed on a level surface to help eliminate potential dripping issues. Proper leveling goes a long way!
Excessive condensation cascading out of your air vents is an annoying problem, but fixing it is usually within your grasp. With some maintenance, adjustments, and troubleshooting of potential issues, you can get that dripping under control and enjoy cool comfort without the hassle. Just be sure to act promptly when you notice excess moisture so the situation doesn't get out of hand. A few simple solutions can take care of it and get your AC back in working order.
About 24/7 AC Repair Garland
Looking to install or replace your HVAC system? Perhaps you need emergency air conditioning repair. Whatever the case, you can count on 24/7 AC Repair Garland to lend a helping hand. We're timely, proficient, and fully licensed and insured. Please call us at (214) 206-4356 to get an estimate.