Air conditioner filters usually play the important role of ensuring that dust and mold particles don't find their way into a home. And while this is great for air quality control, it usually leaves the filters vulnerable to clogging, something that may then lead to air conditioner moisture leak problems.

Dirt accumulation and evaporator oil icing

When dirt accumulates in your air conditioner's air filters, the filters will have a hard time letting in air. This will have the effect of reducing the amount of air that passes over the coils.

Under normal operations, the air passing over the evaporator coils has enough heat to offset the cooling effect that the state-changing process of the refrigerant produces. However, with a clogged filter, this will not be the case.

With a limited amount of air passing over the evaporator coil, the resultant temperature drop in this area will be so extreme that it will not only cause air moisture to condense, but also freeze. This is what will then cause ice to form over the evaporator coils.

Evaporator coil icing and air conditioner leaks

The ice that forms on the evaporator coil may thereafter melt because of weather changes. The moisture that is produced as a result of this melting process is sometimes usually enough to flood the air conditioner's draining pan, hence causing air conditioner water leaks.

It is important to note that your air conditioner may leak even when there is minimal evaporator coil icing. This is a something that usually happens in cases where there is a problem with the condensate draining system.

A common problem is the clogging of the condensate drain line. This usually happens when dirt accumulates in the drain line or when insects or mold particles get stuck in the condensate drain line. In such a case, even though ice may be melting at a slow rate, the clogging of the condensate drain line will give the melting water enough time to accumulate in the condensate drain pan to a point that it ultimately overflows and thus causing the air conditioner to leak.

Regularly cleaning your air conditioner filters is an easy way to ensure that there is enough air flowing over the evaporator coils and is thus the best way to prevent the damage caused by air conditioner leaks. And since worn-out filters can also cause air flow problems, making sure that you stick to the always-change-your-filters-after-every-three-months rule is advisable.

For more information, contact an HVAC contractor in your area.