4 Reasons Why Your Ductless Mini-Split AC is Leaking Water

Ductless mini-split air conditioners are a great addition to the modern home and to rental spaces. They offer flexibility, energy efficiency, and quiet operation. These units are also not limited to small spaces. Mini-split air conditioners with 24,000 BTUs can cool up to 1,500 sq. ft.

However, not all air conditioners are made equal. An ineffective system will have you asking “Why is my ductless AC leaking?” after just a few months of usage. Since this is a common problem for homeowners, this guide will break down the key causes for why your mini-split AC is leaking water. Along the way, we’ll also cover a few mini-split system fundamentals.




How Does a Mini-Split System Work?

There are two main components of a ductless mini-split system: the indoor unit and the outdoor compressor or condenser. Multiple indoor units (around four to eight) can be connected to a single outdoor unit.


The Indoor Unit

The main function of the indoor unit is to provide independent air conditioning control for the zone or room that it is in. These components are commonly suspended from the ceiling or mounted on a wall, directing conditioned air directly into the living area.

Instead of using a complicated duct system, the indoor unit is directly connected to the outdoor condenser via a refrigerant line, a power cable, drain lines, and suction tubing.


The Condenser

As a part of a mini-split air conditioning system, the condenser is responsible for removing heat from within the home. Typically, condensers are installed outdoors, in a shady area away from the sun and away from shrubbery. Different condensers have different capacities in terms of how many indoor units can be connected to them.


Why is My Ductless AC Leaking?

There are multiple reasons why your multi-split AC could be leaking. Unfortunately, ineffectively designed systems will have an issue of AC leaking water sooner and more frequently.

If you’re looking at stains on your walls (or possibly worse kinds of water damage), and you’re asking, “Why is my ductless AC leaking?”, here are some of the likely reasons why.


1. A Blockage in the Drain Line

Though there are several reasons that could be behind an AC leaking water problem, one of the most commonly encountered reasons is a blocked drain line.

Your ductless mini-split AC needs an unobstructed drain line to be able to remove condensate. Condensate or water droplets form as warm humid air comes into contact with the mini-split AC’s coil. The condensate then accumulates in the drain pan of your ductless mini-split and the drain line needs to direct this water towards the outdoor unit. If the condensate line is obstructed by dust, debris, or deformation, then the accumulated water will have nowhere else to go and just leak down your wall.


2. Drain Pan Damage

Drain pan damage is another possible reason why your mini-split AC is leaking water. Over time, this component of your AC can develop rust or it can be physically damaged by impact.

The drain pan is the part of the multi-split AC that holds condensate which forms from the coil’s contact with humid air. With a badly damaged drain pan, the water can leak out instead of being stored until it is discharged by the drain line.




3. Dirty Air Filter

A dirty air filter is a common problem seen in older multi-split AC units. Over time, the air filter can accumulate dirt and dust. This results in an obstructed airflow within the unit, which then causes the coil to freeze.

When the frozen coils become warm again, the buildup of ice will melt and leak out of the unit. Each multi-split indoor unit has different maintenance requirements stated by the manufacturer but as a general rule, the air filter needs to be cleaned once every two weeks.


4. Refrigerant Leakage

Many residents ask about AC water leaks when it could be actually leaking refrigerant. The evaporator coils inside indoor units of multi-split ACs have refrigerant flowing through them.

In some cases, refrigerant leaks can also occur near the refrigerant line. Please be advised that exposure to refrigerants may be harmful to your health. In cases when refrigerant leaks occur, it would be best to call in professionals to fix it.


Get a Durable and Long-Lasting Ductless Mini-Split AC for Your Home

Though an AC leaking water issue is repairable, it may be time to replace your mini-split AC if leaks happen too often. Doing so will prevent water damage to your wall and keep you safe from possible refrigerant exposure.

If you’re looking for a reliable, durable, and low-maintenance mini-split AC, you can count on Napoleon’s NDCAS21 Series. The NDCAS21 series is packed with convenient and energy-efficient features that will help you rediscover what home comfort really means.

Have questions about installation or if it’s time to replace your ductless mini-split AC? Connect with a Napoleon dealer today!