Sears Knowledge Center

How to Fix an Air Conditioner That Is Leaking Water

Your window air conditioner offers great relief during the hot summer months, but sometimes things can go wrong. If your unit begins leaking water, there can be a handful of causes. Here are a few suggestions on how to troubleshoot the problem and fix it quickly, so you can get back to enjoying the cool air as quickly as possible.

Check the angle

Inspect your air conditioner unit to determine the angle at which it is installed in the window. The rear of the unit on the outside of the window should be about an inch lower than the front. This will encourage any drips to make their way outside, rather than indoors and onto the floor of your home.

Look for ice

Check your unit for ice, which can form if there are problems with the cooling system. When the ice warms back up, water can leak into your home. Ice on an air conditioner can be caused by multiple issues, so determine the cause and address it to fix the dripping problem.

Feel for air leaks

Determine if any air is slipping in through cracks between your air conditioner unit and the window. Cooler air from inside meeting up with warm outdoor air can result in condensation, which causes drips. If you find an air leak, patch it with foam insulation.

Look for water in the front

Run the unit for a little while to determine where the water is pooling. If it's at the front of the machine, the internal water channels might be backing up. Cleaning them manually can often solve this problem.

Unblock the drain hole

Check the drainage hole located at the back of the air conditioner. This hole offers a passageway for water to escape safely outside; if it gets blocked, water can back up into the unit and, eventually, into your home. If the hole appears to be obstructed, try gently clearing it with a small object like a Popsicle stick or even a pipe cleaner.

Watch the weather report

Measure the temperature both outdoors and in. If the air outside is cooler than indoors, which sometimes happens overnight at the end of the summer cooling season, condensation can form on the air conditioner, resulting in drips. Turn off the unit altogether, or use a setting that will switch the unit automatically to the fan when the temperature drops below a certain point.


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