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Why Is My AC Filter Wet & How Do I Fix It?

Frozen outdoor AC unit.

Is the filter for your air conditioner wet when you go to change or clean it? Or do you have moisture accumulating or dripping elsewhere around your AC?

A wet air filter can be caused by airflow issues that lead to icing or clogs in the condensate pan or condensate drain lines. This clog prevents drainage of condensate, and as it overflows, the air filter absorbs that moisture.

Wet air filters can be both a symptom of another problem with your AC and a problem in and of itself. If nothing else, you don’t want unmanaged moisture accumulating in your home, as it can grow mold, attract pests, ruin your air quality, or contribute to water damage.

Today, we’ll look at a few different problems that might be responsible, how to fix them, and how to prevent some common AC problems.

Common Reasons for a Leaky or Damp AC Filter

Frozen Evaporator Coils

This is one of the most common problems with an air conditioner. When your AC ices over due to poor air quality, there are a few potential causes and solutions. In many cases, it happens because you’ve delayed changing the filter too long.

Let it thaw completely, install a fresh new filter, and see if it’s better. To prevent future blockages, you’ll need to change it more often or use a weaker filter that won’t catch as much. If that doesn’t work, you have a mystery for an HVAC technician to solve and repair.

Damaged Drain Pan

Look at the drain pan of your air conditioner, which is usually near the floor of the indoor air handler (in a home with a furnace, your AC will typically be using the furnace air handler). You can follow the line down from the evaporator coils if you’re unsure where to look.

Minor cracks and damage can be fixed with epoxy, but it’s usually best to replace the pan

Clogged Condensate Drain Line

Perhaps the most significant potential sources of drainage issues are clogs in your condensate drain line. This is what carries water that condenses on your evaporator coils away to dispose of it outside.

If you don’t have your system tuned up regularly, dirt and debris can end up in the condensate, which can end up in the lines, which will eventually lead to clogs.

Cleaning your condensate drain line can be part of annual tune-ups or a separate service, so you ask about it when scheduling annual AC maintenance. You might also be able to DIY it with a wet/dry vacuum if you want to learn how.

You can also discourage mold and mildew growth by pouring something like vinegar through your lines to kill mold and mildew. It might not remove anything already stuck there, but it can help keep the problem from developing or worsening.

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Reach Out for Reliable Air Conditioning Repair

Want to know more about problems that can lead to a wet AC filter or need professional assistance? The team at Damiani’s will gladly answer your questions and schedule service for this and other HVAC problems you may have.

Since 1985 Damiani’s has been a trusted source for HVAC and AC repairs and installations in the San Antonio metro area. We also offer an annual Comfort Club Membership so you get priority service, emergency service, discounts, and more. 

Contact us online today or call 210-646-9600 to get started.

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