HVAC Repair Tips


Water leaking from the air vents can be a problem that must be dealt with quickly because it hints at a minor or major problem related to your HVAC system and ductwork. You can hire an air conditioner repair service who will inspect all the related components and fix the problem. However, as it can, sometimes, be a minor problem, you can try to fix it yourself. Follow below:

Fixing Water Leakage From AC Vents

Clean The Air Filters

This is a simple thing that can do wonders for your HVAC system. Many big problems stem from ignoring the cleaning of air filters and one of them is water dripping from air ducts.

You would ask that air filters stop contaminants from entering the HVAC system so how are they related to the water leakage from the air vents?

Air conditioners cool the indoors by throwing cool air from the vents and also by removing excess moisture from the indoor air. This is the moisture that goes from the drain pan (also called the drip pan) to the condensate lines and then to the drain.

If the air filters are not clean and are clogged with dust, they will restrict airflow. We know that it causes cooling problems, but it also stops the moisture from dripping to the drain pan from the evaporator coils. Instead, the moisture freezes on the evaporator coils. When it melts, it goes everywhere including the air ducts.

A common practice is if you see anything wrong with your HVAC system, clean or replace the air filters because many times, this fixes the problem. Moreover, ensure to clean or replace the air filters as per the recommendations of the HVAC manufacturer and your AC usage. A cleaning frequency of once every two weeks is considered good.

Clean Or Replace The Drain Pan

The drain pan receives drippings of water from the evaporator coils. If it’s curved, damaged, rusted, or too dirty, the water may back up and leak into other parts of the HVAC system like the vents.

Inspect the air handler unit because there may be water leakage visible there as well. Replacing a drain pan is quite easy, but finding the right drain pan for your HVAC model can be difficult sometimes. It’s better to have an expert check your system and replace the drain pan if needed.

Clean The Condensate Drain Lines

Condensate drain lines are not commonly damaged, so their common issue is mold or dirt blocking the passage of water. If they are blocked, the drain pan will overfill with water causing water back up that might drip outside the unit and also into the vents.

Clogging of a condensate line is nothing big and should be expected. Therefore, you should perform regular cleaning and maintenance of your HVAC system because it can prevent this problem altogether. However, if your vents are dripping water, you should consider cleaning the condensate line now.

You can use white vinegar or hot water. Pour into the access point of the condensate line after turning off the unit. Let it sit for 30 minutes. After that, pour more hot water and check if it’s coming out from the other end.

Is The Condensate Pump Working?

A condensate pump is used to pump water out of the system in many types of HVAC units. You should check if it’s working properly. Keep in mind that it turns on intermittently. It’s triggered on when the collection pan or drain pan fills. So, check the drain pan, if it’s filled but the pump is not on, then the issue may be with the condensate pump.

Check If The Evaporator Coils Are Frozen

Evaporator coils are in the air handler unit. We discussed earlier that dirty air filters can cause frozen evaporator coils. When the ice thaws, some of it leaks into the vents and causes water drippings from the vents.

However, many other things can also cause the icing up of evaporator coils so we created an individual section.

You can take a look at the evaporator coils and if they are frozen, apart from dirty air filters, you should also check for clogged condensate lines, blocked vents, dirty evaporator coils, low refrigerant, and faulty blow fan.

Have The Refrigerant Checked

We just mentioned that a cause of frozen evaporator coils is low refrigerant. This means if the refrigerant is low, the evaporator coils will freeze, which will lead to puddles of water near the outdoor unit and water dripping from the vents.

Low refrigerant always means that it’s been leaking from somewhere. So, you have to find the location of the leakage. Stand near the outdoor unit. If you hear a hissing or bubbling noise, it may be the noise of refrigerant leaking from the tiny crack(s).

Refrigerant leakage and its refilling is something only an expert can do. So, hire one to have this issue fixed.

It May Be Improper Air Conditioner Installation

If you just installed your HVAC system and within a few days or weeks, the vents start dripping water, your HVAC was installed improperly. Poor AC installation can cause many problems so if it’s the cause of water leaking from the vents, you should also look for other problems as well.

Most commonly the condensate drain line is not connected properly and it disconnects and leaks water that goes into the vents. Sometimes, the angle of the drain line is wrong which causes the water to back up. So, check the entire drain system of your HVAC system.

If you think that the cause of this problem is poor installation, you should contact the installer so they can inspect and fix the problem.

Check The Insulation

If your home’s insulation is insufficient, it can trigger high amounts of condensation in the ductwork. As air ducts don’t have anything to deal with severe condensation, the water will drip into the air ducts and will leak from the vents. Check your home’s insulation or hire an expert for it.

Check The Ductwork For Leaks

Leakage in ductwork can also cause condensation which will keep dripping from the vents. If the leak is near the vents, you may be able to see it if you remove the vent cover. You can also look for signs like uneven cooling in the house, dust in the house, and poor indoor air quality before contacting a professional.

Inspect The Plumbing

If you still haven’t found the cause of water dripping from the vents, then you should consider other factors as well. The number one thing to check other than your HVAC system is the plumbing system. This is because the leakage may be a plumbing issue. Hire a plumber who can help inspect for damaged, corroded, or leaking pipes.

Roof Inspection

After going through a plumbing inspection, if nothing is found, then move to a roof inspection. If the vents leak water or more water during or after rain, it may be a roof problem. Usually, it’s due to cracked shingles or damaged roof flashing.


Stopping water dripping from AC vents may be easy or difficult depending on the cause of the problem. You should try out the simpler solutions and for others, hire an HVAC repair service Fairfax.


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