We recently performed an AC filter change for one of our clients and noticed the filter was wet– which is not a normal condition. When we see something like this in our clients homes we investigate further. Sure, you could just replace the filter with investigating where the water is coming from but that doesn’t solve the underlying problem.

Your AC is built to remove moisture

The AC creates moisture by removing excess humidity from the air in your home. If you look at your AC air handler in the closet it should appear dry–but the inside of your air handler is wet, pulling moisture from the air in your home and dripping into a condensate pan which is connected to a drain going to outside your home. The condensate drip pan has a float device in the pan that will trigger if the water in the pan is in danger of overflowing because of a clogged line going to the outside of your home. This trigger shuts down your AC to prevent the drip pan from overflowing, hopefully preventing a catastrophic water leak into your home.

Common reasons for your AC to stop working

  1. Clogged drain line. This happens to almost every home if the drip lines are not cleared regularly. The clogged line will cause the pan to fill under the coil and will shut down the AC when the water gets too high in the pan, preventing overflow into your home. Sometimes the floats malfunction and the result is water spilling into your home.
  2. Drain Leaks. A drain leak can cause water to pool at the bottom under the evaporator coil and eventually flow down into the air filter.
  3. Clogged Condensate Pan. A clogged drain in the pan will prevent the water from draining properly into the line to the outside of your home.
  4. Faulty air filter installation. If the wrong filter is installed or a “cut to fit” filter was not installed properly it could cause the filter to get wet.

Don’t ignore a wet filter

A wet filter indicates something is not operating properly in your AC. Do not ignore this warning sign! Any time there is excess moisture in your home your home is in extreme danger–given the the right conditions mold and mildew can form in about 72 hours.

How to avoid a wet filter

  • Have your AC serviced regularly–every 6 months at a minimum!
  • Use filters that are the proper size for your equipment
  • Use the right type of filter for your application
  • Change air filters at least every 90 days and more often if you have pets and/or construction going on in your home

Carefree Home Watch is a professional home watch provider serving the greater Fort Myers, FL and Sanibel Island areas. Carefree provides, “Exceptional care when you’re not there™”. Each visit we complete an observation report of your home which can include an assessment of your air filters.