How to Check the AC Unit Drip Pan and Other Useful Maintenance Tips

Heat pumps will leak water if the AC unit drip pan is blocked, the filters or coils are dirty or the refrigerant charge is low. All of these problems are easy to diagnose and simple to repair.

If you just need a replacement drip pan, check out the Plews 75-755 Galvanized Drip Pan.

1. Clearing Blocked Drains

A ductless air conditioner mounted to a wall has a blocked drain if water is dripping down the wall behind the unit. Sometimes water leaks through the front air outlet.

Check the plastic condensate tray to see if it is overflowing with water. Inspect the drainpipe that empties water onto the ground. Clean off the end and blow into it to clear any blockage.

If the clog is inside the wall, you will have to hire a professional air conditioning technician to fix the problem for you.

2. Cleaning Dirty Heat Exchanging Coils and Filters

Dirty coils and air filters obstruct airflow and interfere with the air conditioner’s performance. When the coil becomes too cold, condensation forms on the coil. Flakes of ice are blown through the system and eventually melt causing the system to leak.

Clean off the filters using a shower head or hose. Applying an antiseptic spray kills bacteria and prevents mold growth.

Inspect the coil behind the filter and carefully vacuum off any lint using a brush attachment. Use a cleaner that can remove grease if the coils are extremely dirty. Rinse the cleaning solution off using a spray bottle filled with water. This will improve airflow across the coils and improve the air conditioning system’s performance. Avoid spraying any water near the electrical components to prevent risk of shock.

Follow the instruction manual that came with your air conditioner when cleaning the unit.

3. What to do if the System is Leaking Refrigerant

If the airflow is unobstructed and the coils and air filters are free of debris, your air conditioning system should work properly. If the air in the room is not cool and water starts leaking from the unit’s air vent, the refrigerant charge may be low.

Put your heat pump on the lowest temperature setting available and let the system run. Inspect the coils underneath the air filters. If ice has formed on the coils, the system is leaking and you will need to contact a professional to fix it. The technician will locate the leak, make the proper repairs and add a sufficient amount of refrigerant to restore function.

If you follow these steps and the system is still struggling to produce cool air, call a reputable service technician in your area.

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