Air conditioner moisture problems can develop for a variety of reasons. Understanding the cause will enable you to troubleshoot the areas that need attention.
Summer months are filled with high humidity levels that are difficult to cope with. The average comfort level of the body ranges between 30% and 50% relative humidity. During hot spells, the outdoor humidity levels can reach 100%.
It is the job of your air conditioner to not only cool interior spaces, but to also reduce the level of humidity for comfort. This is a huge task even for a mechanical unit. As a result, yearly maintenance is key in providing top performance. Without regular maintenance, air conditioner moisture problems can occur when you need your unit the most.
1. Too Much Condensation in Pan
Before taking the following steps, use safety precautions by shutting off the air conditioner unit and disabling the breaker.
It is normal for condensation to form around the coils and to drip into the drip pan. You may notice more water forming on extremely humid days. However, if the collected water is going beyond the pan, these steps need to be taken.
Fix the Cracks
Check the pan for any cracks or holes that are present. After extensive use, there could be damage of rust forming or hairline cracks from weather and wear. This is a relatively simple fix.
Remove the pan and patch any holes or weak areas with epoxy glue. However, to be safe of future problems, the pan should be replaced.
A blocked condensate drainage line may be causing a back-up of water that is intended for the drainage pan. Dirt, insects or any outdoor debris can find their way into a drainage line. Disconnect the line and remove the blockage.
This can be done with a hand pump or a wet dry vac. A drainage line can also rust through and leak water. This can slow down the production of the unit and cause standing water around the unit. If there is substantial damage, replace the line. This should eliminate future air conditioner moisture problems.
2. Frozen Evaporator Coil
If you notice water standing in your drip pan, check the evaporator coil. If it has a build-up of ice, air conditioner moisture problems could be the cause.
A steady stream of air flow is necessary to keep the ever-forming moisture from becoming trapped. A dirty air filter can slow this process. Make it a habit to check the air filter each month during high-demand operation.
Although the manual may state to check every 2 to 3 months, humid weather delivers more dirt to the unit in a short amount of time. When a filter becomes clogged, coils can become too cold and freeze up. As they melt, an excess of water is made. Make a note to change the filter every month during the hot summer months.
Check for Insulation Tears
Poor insulation can create openings that break the seal intended for the unit. As the air seeps out, air conditioner moisture problems occur. Check the insulation for tears that may have happened over the winter months. If there is a leak, the insulation will feel damp in spots.
Replace parts if needed. If your unit is located in an attic or basement, surrounding wood can become in danger of further damage so don’t delay.
Change the Seals
Broken seals that keep the air flow of the air conditioning unit contained can just wear out with continuous use. This is not a job that can be easily pinpointed or repaired.
A sealed vapor barrier is necessary for the unit to perform properly. Change the seals or have a certified AC specialist do the work.
3. Interior Moisture Collection
Not all air conditioner moisture problems occur around the air conditioning unit. If you notice drops of water forming around interior windows, you could have a problem with your humidification rate.
In the past, this situation was blamed for having an oversized air conditioning unit. However, new energy codes have created a higher efficiency rate. This has a direct impact on the amount of humidity that is formed in an inside space. A unit of this type should still be covered under warranty, and your dealer should be able to help.
For older units, digital and analog hygrometers can measure the amount of humidity in your home. You need to know if your humidity is indeed too high before knowing if this is due to air conditioner moisture problems.
Invest in Dehumidifier
Set up the hygrometer and read the percentage level. A comfortable setting should be between 30% and 50%. If you find your humidity level rising above 70%, you may notice condensation forming around your windows. This makes a good condition for mold, mildew, and bacteria to form.
A quick fix is to purchase a portable or a whole house dehumidifier. This type of unit will remove excess water that forms and keep your home more comfortable.
Follow these tips if you are having any air conditioner moisture problems. Many times, there can be an easy fix to repairing the unit. However, if the problem persists, call an air conditioning specialist to avoid further damage.
An internal part may need replaced, or the Freon may need recharged. Some air conditioner moisture problems cannot be solved by simple homeowner trouble shooting. However, according to air conditioning repair technicians, many service calls can be avoided by checking the above areas of your air conditioning unit.
A central air conditioning unit is built to withstand all types of weather conditions. Nonetheless, maintenance is always key to keeping any mechanical device operating efficiently. Always have your unit serviced before hot weather sets in. On top of that, follow the recommendations of the air conditioning technician.