August 20, 2022


in St. Louis, MO

When you start to see water dripping from your air conditioner’s vents, it can be quite alarming. As a homeowner, your imagination begins to run wild. You immediately worry about how much this is going to cost and if it can be repaired at all. Water that drips from the AC vent is a serious concern, but if you contact Scott-Lee Heating Company right away for help, you can avoid property damage, mold growth, and other costly repairs. Understanding what could be causing the dripping water will also help relieve your anxiety.

Dirty Air Filters

Your air conditioner absorbs moisture from the air as it cools your home. This moisture becomes condensation that should drip into the drip pan. From there, condensate lines drain this water out of your home.

If the air filter in your AC gets dirty, the airflow will be blocked by the dust and debris that has built up on it. This also keeps the condensation from being able to go into the drip pan. Instead, that water freezes around the evaporation coils and creates a thin layer of ice. Once the air conditioner is turned off, that ice begins to melt. As this ice melts, it will drip from the air conditioner’s vent.

How often you should have your air filters changed depends on the size of your home, if you have pets and the number of people living in the home. If you suffer from allergies, you may want them changed more frequently. This is why it is so important to schedule routine maintenance calls. We can inspect your filters during routine maintenance visits in order to keep your AC functioning at its best.

A Rusted Drip Pan

The drip pan that catches the condensation can rust as it ages. If you know your filters are clean and the coils aren’t covered in ice, your drip pan may have rusted through. This causes the water to simply drip from the air vent instead of making its way out of your house.

The Condensate Line Is Clogged

You’ll find your AC’s condensate line on the outside of the house. This line can become clogged with dirt and debris just like the air filter can. Unfortunately, other things can clog this crucial line as well. Bugs and insects can easily find their way inside the line and create a blockage. Mildew and algae are always present in high moisture areas such as the condensate line. It can build up over time and block your line as well.

It’s also common among air conditioners that are installed in an upper level of the home, such as an attic, to experience water dripping from the air vents. When the system is located in these areas, problems with the condensate line can cause water to overflow from the drip pan into the air vents and air ducts.

Another sign to look for when the condensate line clogs is rust on the furnace. When the exterior of the furnace rusts, it is at risk of serious failure. If you notice rust on your furnace, contact us immediately.

A Broken Condensate Pump

All air conditioners have a condensate pump. You’ll find it next to the furnace or the condensate line. The water from your AC collects in this pump. From there, it is pumped outside of the home. If that pump breaks, the water won’t drain from the house properly. As a result, it may drip from the air vent.

Improper Installation

Proper installation of your AC system is crucial when it comes to having it function properly. We can install an air conditioner in your home that will meet all of your cooling needs and perform beautifully. When the air conditioner isn’t installed correctly, it may tilt. This can cause condensation to pool and drip. If your air conditioner was installed several years ago, and you have never had any issues with drips before, the installation isn’t the problem.

A Refrigerant Leak

A refrigerant leak can be a serious problem. Refrigerant is the coolant that your air conditioner uses. It isn’t the same as the coolant in your car. You don’t need to replace it or have it topped off unless there is a problem with the unit, such as a leak. Exposure to the refrigerant can cause refrigerant poisoning. Don’t try to fix this yourself. Contact us for an emergency repair visit immediately.

Air Leaking Around the Vent

When you discover water dripping from the air conditioner’s air vent, feel for air that may be escaping from the sides of the vent. This issue is fairly common, and it’s easy to fix. Anytime air leaks from any part of the AC other than from the actual air vent, you’ll have to have it caulked. It’s a simple fix, and it keeps all of the unit’s components working properly so that water won’t continue to drip from the air vent.

Insufficient Insulation

Many areas of your home may not be insulated. This includes the attic, which is where many homes’ air conditioning systems are installed. If your air ducts run through an area that isn’t properly insulated, they may have excessive condensation building up on them. Don’t worry. You don’t have to insulate your entire home. You only need to have insulation placed around the air duct. There is insulation specifically designed for this purpose. If you think this could be the reason why you have water dripping from your AC’s air vent, remove the vent’s grate and look inside. If you see unreasonable amounts of condensation, you’ve found the issue.

Plumbing and Roof Leaks

You may be surprised to find out that the water dripping from the air conditioner’s air vent may have nothing to do with the AC itself. Pipes in the plumbing system can crack, break, or leak as they age. When this happens, water gets into the walls of your home. If the pipes run above your ductwork, the water can easily travel down the ducts and drip from the air vents. We can help with plumbing issues as well as air conditioner problems.

Another unexpected issue could be a leaking roof. The roof could be leaking in the attic, where the water will once again make its way along the ductwork. You may not even realize there’s a problem with the roof until you notice water dripping from the air conditioner’s air vent.

Rely on Your AC Professionals

Scott-Lee Heating Company is here to help you with all of your air conditioning needs. If you have water dripping from the AC vent, contact us immediately. We are here 365 days a year, and we offer 24/7 emergency services. In addition to HVAC system installation, repairs, and maintenance, we have been serving St. Louis and the surrounding areas since 1978 with air quality services, metal work, and plumbing services. Our commitment to customer satisfaction has won us the Dave Lennox Award 26 times over the past 28 years. Contact Scott-Lee Heating Company today to get more information from our friendly staff.