How to prevent air conditioner water damage

Normally the air conditioner unit will eject small amounts of water as it removes moisture from the air. If the air conditioner works properly, it will collect the water into the drain and then direct it into the plumbing system or somewhere outside the building, with no damage whatsoever to the house.

If the water is not directed properly it can cause damage to the walls, floors or even ceiling. Once the water leaks the damage to the walls is already done so it’s better to find ways to prevent it:

Install the air conditioner properly to avoid water damage

If the air the conditioner is not installed properly from the beginning it can cause in time a number of problems that lead to water damage. If the pipes were improperly installed, for example, they will loosen over time until they are disconnected.

It will also help to install the draining systems so that the water flows vertically and in a straight line, with no elbow connections. This will largely improve the water drainage and reduce the risk of water damage.

Install a water level detection switch

It will alert you and stop the air conditioner unitin time in case the drain gets clogged and water builds up in the condensate pan past the maximum acceptable level. When this occurs, the problem can be easily fixed by cleaning the drain with a vacuum or a hand pump that blows the dirt away.


Replace the HVAC air filter at least once a month

This causes the unit from working too hard, which could be freezing and defrosting on the evaporation coils. When it defrosts it causes water to build up in the condensation pan and to water damage when the pan overflows.

Install an an additional drain line

This must be done by a professional and ideally from the beginning and it reduces the risk of any water damage in the future.

Check the refrigerant level periodically and replace when necessary

Low the refrigerant level can cause serious problems in the same way a dirty air filter does: it causes the evaporation coil to freeze which in turn will overflow the condensate pan when it defrosts.

Have a professional check the air conditioner at least once a year

A professional will check the functionality of the air conditioner in depth and can discover a lot of problems that could lead to water leakage before any damage occurs.

Such problems detectable by a professional can be:

  • a loose pipe that will surely cause water damage in time, when it disconnects completely;
  • problems with the air filter, like dirt which blocks the normal airflow;
  • misplaced drip pan, which causes water to leak outside the draining system;
  • leaky pipes – a professional can detect the leaky pipes before the water damage becomes visible to us;
  • clogged draining system;
  • low refrigerant;
  • failing condensation pump and so on.

The best way to avoid water damage is to keep the draining system clean and schedule regular maintenance.