The weather has been exceptionally warm. Your air conditioner has been running a little more than usual.

When it’s this warm outside, you might not get outside as much as you’re used to. And if you haven’t been working on home maintenance projects in a while, you might not have had a chance to inspect your air conditioning unit. That’s why it may come as a surprise when you do, and you find a puddle of water nearby.How Much Water Should Puddle Near My Air Conditioner

Should you go into panic mode? Is that a reason to be concerned?

A little bit of water isn’t out of the ordinary. Your central air conditioning system functions by removing heat. It’s not just about pumping cool air throughout your home, the cooling process begins when your outdoor air compressor pumps refrigerant through your home to gather the heat and moisture from inside.

This combination of moisture and heat than blows over the cooled indoor coil, where the warm air is pumped outside your home while the cooled air is pumped back indoors. During this exchange process, moisture condenses on the coil and drips into the condensate pan underneath. This water is directed outside through a drain line.

So if you notice a puddle near your outdoor unit, it can be from several things.

A blocked drain line. Like any other drainage system in your home, the drain line attached to your air conditioning system can accumulate dirt, mold, algae, and bacteria. A simple flushing of the system is often the only thing needed to solve the problem.

A crack in the drain line or condensate pan. Some cracks or leaks can be so small you can’t detect them easily on your own.

Air leaking from the unit. If the seals on your outdoor unit aren’t tight, warm air can leak inside, converge with the cool air and from excess moisture.

Cold temperatures can also play havoc on your system. Here in Colorado, temperatures have been known to change very quickly. When your air conditioner continues to run even when the outdoor temperature has dropped significantly, water that would normally have evaporated sometimes does not. The problem may solve itself once the outdoor temperatures rise or you turn off your unit.

An annual maintenance call and tune up can help you stay one step ahead. A tune up ensures your air conditioner is running at peak efficiency. It can help spot minor problems before they grow into larger problems.

Have a question? Just ask.