Though rainfall due to monsoon season has been down this year, prevailing winds and established weather patterns are still transporting low level moisture up from the Gulf of California as they do every summer. Phoenix is known as the hottest city in America, and this year, we’ve had record setting heat to prove it. We’ve also had plenty of humidity which can cause problems for air conditioning systems. Leaking air conditioners, unpleasant musty smells associated with standing water, sweating AC ducts and mildew are all a result of extra moisture in the air. If you’ve noticed leaking or water related issues with your air conditioner, it’s best to deal with them as soon as possible.
Condensation and Removing Humidity from the Air in Your Home
Humidity causes our bodies to feel warmer because our natural ability to dissipate heat through perspiration is inhibited when there is extra moisture in the air. A simple example of this is taking a shower in a bathroom with the windows closed and the exhaust fan off. You will notice yourself perspiring almost as soon as you get out of the shower. Your air conditioner removes unwanted humidity from your home through the normal cooling process. As warm air passes over your cold evaporator coils, condensation occurs and water drips from the coils to the drain pan below. If you notice extra humidity in the air inside your home, you should give us a call.
Here are some of the most common reasons for leaking air conditioners and moisture related problems:
Clogged Condensate Drain
One of the most common reasons for leaking AC units is caused by a clogged condensate drain line. The condensate drain line can get clogged with debris or gunk which builds up over time. If the drain line is clogged, the water will back up and the pan will overflow.
Dirty or Clogged Air Filters/Low Refrigerant
Proper airflow is critical to the normal operation of your air conditioner. When your air filters are clogged with dirt, airflow is reduced. This can lead to a chain reaction which may result in the evaporator coils freezing. If you have ever noticed ice on your AC unit, it is usually due to reduced airflow or low refrigerant. Either way, when the ice melts, you generally will have a problem with leaking. If you notice ice on your air conditioner, turn off your unit and give us a call.
Improperly Installed Ducts and Vents
Ductwork is a mystery to most homeowners because they rarely see them. Tucked away in the rafters or hidden behind walls, it’s hard to know if your ducts were installed correctly. However, if you notice water stains on the plaster in your ceilings or water dripping down the walls near your vents, it’s a good bet your ducts were not insulated properly. Water dripping from attic ducts onto plaster or insulation can cause mildew and mold and pose a serious health concern, not to mention the unpleasant musty odor.
Humidity Can Wreak Havoc on Your Air Conditioner
Leaks, water damage and excess condensation can cause problems that you might be tempted to overlook. However, if you see water leaking it won’t be long before you start smelling the accompanying mildew. Once that smell gets into your AC system, it’s difficult to get out. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to send a skilled, experienced service technician out to inspect your entire HVAC system.