Ductless AC units, also known as mini-splits, are becoming increasingly popular due to their versatility and efficiency. They also offer an affordable and convenient way to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. Ductless systems are easy to install, long-lasting, and require less maintenance. However, they can eventually develop issues like any other air conditioning system. One of the common problems is leaking water.
Seeing water trickling from your mini-split system can be disturbing. The last thing you want in your residential property is messy puddles, not to mention the costly repairs associated with water damage. Although your ductless AC eliminates excess humidity from the air inside your house, water leakages are not normal. If you notice your mini-split system leaking, turn off the system and contact an AC technician immediately because it could indicate a serious problem. Ductless AC leaks are mostly associated with the following problems.
1. Broken or Clogged Drain Pan
One of the main causes of a leaking ductless AC is a broken or damaged drain pan. A drain pan collects the moisture that condenses on the unit’s evaporator coils. If it’s broken, the water will leak onto your floor. Your ductless unit’s drain pan can get damaged for various reasons. One of the most common causes of damage is rust. If you have an old mini-split system, its drain pan might have rusted over time, resulting in holes.
If your AC is not maintained regularly, dirt, dust, and mold can all build up in the drain pan. This can damage the drain pan or block the drain hole. A blocked drain hole will cause the drain pan to overflow, leaving you with a mess on the floor. During a maintenance visit, the technician can alert you to any problems with the drain pan and provide solutions. Although repairing the holes can help solve the problem, replacing the pan will be the best option.
2. Dirty Filter
A dirty air filter is another major cause of water leaks in your ductless unit. In most situations, the air filter should be changed every three months. If you have pets or poor outdoor air quality, you’ll want to change the filter more often. You might also want to change the filter more often if someone in the home has allergies or asthma.
When the filter is clogged with dust, dirt, and other debris, it restricts airflow within the unit. As a result, ice can build up on the evaporator coils. A frozen coil will also reduce the unit’s ability to cool the air. When the ice melts, water will start dripping from the coils, usually bypassing the drain pan.
If your mini-split unit leaks water, you should check the air filter first. If it’s dirty, replace it or clean it. Many ductless mini-splits come with reusable filters you can easily access and replace. If a frozen coil was the cause of water leaking and insufficient cooling, you might need to wait for the coil to thaw. This may take up to 24 hours.
3. Refrigerant Leaks
Refrigerant is the chemical that circulates through the coils of your ductless AC, absorbing heat from the indoor air and transferring it outdoors. If your ductless AC has a low refrigerant charge, the coils will not be able to absorb enough heat, causing the unit’s evaporator coils to freeze. When the ice melts, it might overwhelm the AC condensate line, leading to leaks. You’ll need to call a professional AC technician to recharge your ductless AC refrigerant to solve this problem.
4. Frozen Evaporator Coils
Sometimes water on the floor around your AC unit might result from a frozen evaporator coil. This is often due to restricted airflow within the AC unit. While a dirty air filter is the most common reason for restricted airflow, it can be caused by several other things. Low refrigerant levels, closed vents, and faulty air handlers can all restrict the airflow within the system. Scheduling ductless AC cleaning more often can help prevent water leaks due to frozen evaporator coils.
5. Poor Installation
Poor installation is another cause of ductless AC leaks, although it’s uncommon. If you had a new mini-split system installed recently and it’s already leaking, the culprit might be poor installation. When the mini-split and the drain pipes are not proportional, they can interrupt water flow from the unit’s drain, forcing the water to flow backward.
The drain pipes should be lower than your ductless unit to allow condensation to flow downwards towards the drainage outlet. To prevent leakages brought about by incorrect AC installations, leave mini-split installations to the professionals. AC experts have the tools, training, skills, and experience to handle different air conditioning units without errors.
6. Clogged Condensate Line
A clogged condensate line is another common reason why ductless mini-splits leak water. The work of the AC condensate line is to carry the excess moisture that your system produces out of your house. If the condensate line gets clogged or blocked, the water might back up and eventually leak out of your unit.
Your ductless AC drain line can clog for various reasons, including debris, dirt buildup, or algae growth. Also, the condensate line may clog when excessive pressure is exerted, causing it to bend. You can protect your AC condensate lines by having them checked and cleaned more often.
When you get your ductless AC serviced every six months, the technicians can identify any clog formations in the condensate lines and remove them before they cause serious damage. If you notice leaks from your ductless AC drain pipe, contact a professional technician immediately to prevent damage to the unit or your residential property.
7. Loose or Disconnected Drain Line
While it’s not common, loose or disconnected drain line joints can lead to ductless AC leaks. This problem might occur if some work has been done in your house recently, especially near the mini-split system. Ductless AC leaks may occur when the unit’s drain line disconnects from the pan. Check your mini-split to see if the line is still connected to the pan. If it’s not connected, you should call an HVAC expert to fix the issue immediately.
Rely on the Air Conditioning Professionals!
A leaking mini-split system can be a serious issue. It’ll not only leave you uncomfortable during the hot summer, but it might also cause mold growth and property damage. If you notice water dripping from your mini-split system, one of the above issues could be the culprit. Luckily, most ductless unit leaks are easy to fix. Keeping your mini-split clean and scheduling routine maintenance can help prevent these leaks. If you’re experiencing ductless AC leaks, AC experts at Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating can help. Our AC technicians will thoroughly inspect your unit and perform the necessary replacements or repairs to restore your indoor comfort.
We also specialize in VRF systems, sheet metal, air quality, duct cleaning, heating, duct repair, air quality, and new construction services throughout San Antonio, TX, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule ductless AC cleaning services.