How to stop a window A/C from leaking inside the house

Window air conditioners are known to leak inside the house sometimes. I will tell you the proper way to stop this.

Things You'll Need

  • basic hand tools
  • bleach
  • water hoe


    • 1

      The most common misconception concerning window air conditioners is that they have to be tilted to make them drain properly. The fact is this is not correct. Window units should be installed level. The way a window unit drains is by gravity. The inside evaporator coil sets in a pan that is slightly elevated. The elevation of the drain pan causes the water to exit the back of the air chamber to the external compartment of the unit where the compressor and outside coil is located. The outside coil (condenser) sets in a lowered section of the frame of the unit. Water collects here and is slung against the condenser coil by the fan blade. This helps the unit condense and sub cool the refrigerant. When a unit is tilted the water does not pool and the unit must work harder to cool. So do NOT tilt the unit, keep it level.

    • 2

      The reason window units leak water inside your house is not because they need to be tilted, but because of a certain type of algae that grows in cool wet places. This algae looks like thick slime, it can be colorless or even pink. This algae clogs up the small drain at the back of the drain pan and the unit must be removed from the window to properly unclog this hole.

    • 3

      Remove the unit from the window completely. If you have a slide out chase then slid the unit out and be careful to keep the unit level so as not to spill the excess condensation and slime all over your floor. If your unit is not a slide out then the best way to remove the unit is from the outside if possible. Have someone open the window while you hold the unit from the out side. Remove the unit and find a good place like a picnic table to place the window unit on.

    • 4

      Now that you have your window unit outside, remove the top cover of the indoor fan. If you have an electronics control board cover the controls with plastic to keep the unit dry. Take a garden hose and back wash the drain located on the back of the evaporator air compartment. You should be able so locate the drain easily on the back of the air chamber wall at the base of the unit. After you have back washed the drain then wash the front coil and see if the units drain hole is now clear. You should see water coming out of the drain pan to the units base. While you have the unit out, wash the coils and blower wheel thoroughly before reassembling the unit. Allow the unit to dry completely before reinstalling unit in to window.

    • 5

      To keep this from happening again, add an ounce of bleach once a month to the evaporator drain pan. Bleach will kill any algae growing and keep alga from growing. Your unit should not be leaking inside the house any longer. If it does, you may have a crack in your drain pan and you will need to replace the pan.

Tips & Warnings

  • Let unit dry completely before reinstalling unit and plugging unit in to wall receptacle
  • Cover control area to keep dry.
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