The Dangers of Ignoring a Leaking Air Conditioner Unit in Humble, TX

Imagine it’s the weekend, and you’re ready to spend the entire day relaxing in the comfort of your Humble, TX, home. You start by making yourself a cold, refreshing drink before plopping down on the couch.

However, after a few minutes, you realize your home doesn’t feel as cool as it should, even with the AC on and set to the recommended 78° Fahrenheit. The air also feels oppressive, and it may even smell weird.

Those are signs you’re dealing with a leaking air conditioner unit. Your AC may be leaking water, refrigerant, or both. Either way, don’t ignore them, as they can pose property, health, and safety risks.

We’ll tell you how such leaks can be dangerous, so read on. 

Water Damage

Air conditioners produce water in the form of condensation during the cooling process. They do this by extracting moisture from the air, making it easier to cool. Then, the AC condensate pan or tray collects the extracted, dripping water and brings it outside your home.

However, you may discover your AC leaking water excessively due to frozen evaporator coils. You may also find your AC pan leaking from a crack or a hole in its base. The tray may also be overflowing because of a clogged drain.

Either way, those problems can result in water damage to the surrounding area. A quick Google search will reveal that fixing such issues can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars.

So, before that happens, contact a local air conditioner repair contractor. The sooner a pro can inspect your system, the sooner they can determine and fix the cause of the leak before it can wreak more property damage. 

Excessive Humidity

If your HVAC system leaks or condensation builds up in the drain pan, the water can evaporate and mix with the indoor air. When that happens, your home’s indoor humidity levels could exceed the ideal range of between 30% and 50%.

The problem is that, over time, excessive indoor humidity can promote moisture damage. For example, it can cause wooden components, such as floors, walls, and ceilings, to warp and decay. 

Uncontrolled indoor humidity also puts your home at risk of mold growth. Molds can spread quickly as they only need moisture, oxygen, and organic materials, like wood and paper, to thrive. If given enough time, they can eat away at and compromise the integrity of your home’s structural components.

Those are all the more reasons never to delay repairing your HVAC that leaks water. Instead, contact a professional HVAC company to fix the problem and, if necessary, install a dehumidifier in your home. This device removes moisture from the air, helping you better control indoor humidity. 

Poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

IAQ refers to the state of the air inside a building and how it affects the health and safety of occupants.

Poor IAQ can result from many factors, including excessive indoor moisture and molds. Regardless of the cause, it can expose you and your loved ones to short-term health risks, such as:

  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Asthma or allergy attacks

In the long term, poor IAQ can cause more severe health woes, such as lung and heart diseases and even cancer. So, it’s no wonder the U.S. EPA recommends improving IAQ to reduce such risks. That’s also why you must fix your leaking AC ASAP, as it can contribute to high indoor humidity levels and mold growth. 

Refrigerant Leaks

As mentioned above, when an AC drips excessive amounts of water, it can indicate frozen evaporator coils. The latter can freeze and ice up due to low refrigerant levels, which incorrect system installation can sometimes cause. 

However, a much more common culprit is a refrigerant leak, which can result from:

  • Normal wear and tear
  • Early degradation of components due to a lack of AC maintenance
  • Corrosion of evaporator and condenser coils

So, if your AC leaks water, has ice, and makes a hissing or bubbling sound, take that as a sign of refrigerant leaks. You may also get a whiff of a sweet, ether-like odor in the air. That’s what refrigerants smell like. 

Please turn off your air conditioner and call a local HVAC repair company immediately after noticing those symptoms.

Because of its chemical properties, leaking refrigerant can be even more dangerous than water alone. If allowed to mix with indoor air in high amounts, it can cause toxicity and asphyxiation. It’s also flammable and can cause burn injuries on exposed skin. 

No Reprieve From a Heat Wave

According to reports, Harris County, TX, will experience even more extreme heat events over the coming years. Currently, it already sees an average of 16 days of heat waves. Experts project this to nearly double and reach 31 days by 2050.

That’s very concerning, considering heat waves can cause illnesses and even be deadly.

The good news is that you can avoid such dangers by staying in your air-conditioned home during heat waves. However, this would only work if your AC can cool your home effectively and efficiently. It won’t be able to do that if it’s leaking water due to frozen coils or refrigerant leaks.

So, before the next heat wave hits Humble, TX, have a professional fix your leaking AC.

Then, have your cooling system undergo a comprehensive pre-seasonal tune-up every spring. This way, a professional can clean and optimize your entire AC and inspect it for problems. If they find any, you can have them correct the issue immediately before they cause your system to fail. 

Avoid the Hazards of a Leaking Air Conditioner Unit

Remember: A leaking air conditioner unit can cause property damage, mold growth, poor IAQ, and a dangerously hot home.

That’s why you should never ignore the signs of AC water and refrigerant leaks. Instead, let the highly skilled and experienced technicians at Guy’s Air Conditioning and Heating address your malfunctioning AC today. Our company has been around since 1974, a testament to the high-quality services we provide to our customers in Humble, Houston, and nearby areas.

So, speak with us today to schedule your service! We’ll happily fix your leaking AC once and for all.