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Why Is My Air Conditioner Blowing Out Water?

an air conditioning vent

“Why is my air conditioner blowing out water?” This is one of the many problems AC owners can encounter. It can be frustrating when your AC unit isn’t working as it should, especially on summer days when you want relief from the heat. If yours is blowing out water, that means there’s an underlying issue. It can be a problem with the condensation drain, evaporator coil or air filter.

Here’s an in-depth guide to help you troubleshoot the problem and get your AC running normally. While you can try to fix it yourself, it is always best to contact an HVAC specialist. A professional will evaluate the issue thoroughly and provide a long-term solution.

Issues That Can Cause an Air Conditioner to Blow Out Water

It’s never normal for an AC unit to blow out water. The AC works by sucking hot air into the unit and flowing it through an evaporator coil. In the process, heat is exchanged between the hot air and the refrigerant, and the air cools down. There is a drain that collects the condensation and a pipe that drains the water. There is a problem with your AC unit if it is blowing the condensed water out. Here are some possible reasons why that is happening.

The Condensation Drain Line Is Clogged

Inside your AC unit, a condensate pan collects moisture from hot air. It is connected to a drain line system, which leads the condensed water outside.

The problem is that the condensate pan is open all the time. Aside from water, it also collects dust, dirt and other small particles. This accumulation can enter the drain line system and eventually clog it. Once the passage is blocked, there is nowhere for the condensation to go, and your AC unit might blow it out.

The same thing can happen if there is damage to the drain line system. If the pipe has a dent or kink, it can disrupt the water flow and cause it to go back the other way. As a solution, you can use a wet/dry vacuum to suck out whatever is blocking the drainage hose. You can also prevent the problem by installing a wet switch flood detector in the condensate pan.

The Air Filter Is Dirty or Clogged

Another possible reason your AC unit is blowing out water is that its air filter is dirty or clogged. The air filter is an essential AC component. It captures dust, debris and other small particles in the air.

When you don’t clean or replace it regularly, the dirt can build up and restrict the airflow. This can cause the evaporator coil to freeze. And when it defrosts, the melted water will overflow in the condensate pan. That can cause your AC unit to blow out water or leak.

You can prevent this problem by changing the air filter regularly. For most people, every three months is a regular cadence. But if you live in a dusty area or have pets or young children, you can change the air filter more frequently.

What to Do When Your AC Is Blowing Out Water

Don’t procrastinate when you notice that your AC unit is blowing out water. It can lead to a more severe problem if you ignore it. Here are some fixes you can try.

Clean or Change the Air Filter

The easiest thing you can do is to check your AC unit’s filter. If there’s a layer of dust and dirt on it, it is time to replace the filter with a new one.

Adjust Your Temperature Settings

During warmer months, you can adjust your AC unit’s temperature settings. That way, it doesn’t have to work so hard, and there will be fewer chances of the evaporator coil freezing. If you don’t want to do this manually, purchase a programmable thermostat. It will automatically adjust your AC unit’s temperature settings according to your preference.

AC Service

If none of these solutions work, it is time to contact an HVAC professional. It could mean that there is a more severe issue at hand. A technician can assess your AC unit, determine the problem and provide a cost-effective solution.

an air conditioning unit

Why Does the Air Conditioner Reset Button Keep Tripping?

Air conditioners are complicated and can come with a handful of issues. Aside from blowing out water, they can also keep tripping the circuit breaker. If your AC unit is doing this, it is most likely overheating. Here are some possible reasons why.

The Air Filter Is Dirty

If you notice that your AC trips the breaker on hot days, it can mean that its air filter is dirty. The restriction of airflow may be causing the AC unit to overheat and trip the breaker. It’s helpful to know how often you should change your air filter. To prevent overheating, clean or replace the air filter every few months.

The Condenser Coil Is Dirty

If the evaporator coil removes the heat from the air, it’s the condenser coil’s job to release that heat to the outside. But if the condenser coil is dirty, it can cause your AC unit to overheat and trip the breaker. That’s why it’s crucial to keep it clean.

The Coil Fan Is Broken

AC units have coil fans that keep the evaporator and condenser coils cool. However, the motors that keep them running can become worn down over time. Once these are damaged, the AC unit will consume more energy, overheat and cause the breaker to trip.

The Compressor Is Burnt Out

Compressors have a crucial job. They transform the refrigerant from low-pressure liquid to high-pressure gas and then back again. However, they can burn out through excessive friction or when there is an electrical overload. If your AC’s breaker keeps tripping, compressor failure is a possible culprit.

If your AC unit’s circuit breaker is constantly tripping, it could be a sign of a serious issue. To protect your peace of mind, contact an HVAC specialist who can fix the problem before it worsens. Failing compressors and broken coil fans are complex issues, so don’t attempt to fix them yourself.

a home with an air conditioner

How to Adjust the Air Conditioner Humidity Setting

Excess humidity is never a good thing. For one, it makes you feel even more uncomfortable on hot days. In addition, too much moisture in the air can encourage harmful bacteria, molds and dust mites to thrive. Fortunately, your AC unit can dehumidify your home and help with this problem.

ACs don’t just remove the heat in your home. They get rid of the excess moisture in the air, too. Once the refrigerant absorbs the warmth and humidity in your space, it drains the condensation and leads it to the sewer outside your home.

If you maintain your AC unit well, it should be able to keep the humidity level in your space within the ideal 40% to 50% range. But if it is extra humid in your area, you might have to use a dehumidifier with your AC.

The Bottom Line

While there are simple fixes you can try at home, it is still best to contact an HVAC specialist to resolve any trouble you are experiencing with your AC unit.

HVAC technicians have all the necessary tools and know-how to tackle various AC issues. Schedule an AC checkup so you and your family can stay comfortable despite the heat.

ABC Can Diagnose and Fix AC Problems

It can be quite alarming when you notice water blowing out of your air conditioning unit. If you’re concerned about your AC unit, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our licensed professionals can provide any needed AC diagnosis and repair and are available all day and all night.

Tom Riggs

Tom Riggs is the Division Manager for Mechanical Services, overseeing sales and operations for HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Appliance Repair and Water Quality for all ABC Austin branches. He joined ABC in 2014. Before ABC, he was an HVAC Service Technician, HVAC Comfort Advisor/Sales and Operations Manager. Tom attended Universal Technical Institute. He's an avid outdoorsman and enjoys country living with his wife and two sons.

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