Is Your Air Conditioner's Air Filter Wet? Here's What You Need to Know

Score 4.8 (49, 84) A moist air filter is usually one of the end products of a condensation leak. Condensed moisture in liquid form usually falls into the drip tray below the air conditioner. A wet air filter generally indicates a clogged condensate tray or condensate drain lines. Water is a natural by-product of a working air conditioner.

As the system draws hot air from your home to cool it, moisture from the air condenses on the evaporator coils and then drips into the drain pan. When something prevents water from draining, it overflows and the air filter can absorb that moisture. Both air conditioners and high-efficiency gas ovens produce moisture during normal operation. Now, normally, that moisture drains safely to the outside through a white PVC drain, called a “condensate drain line”.When the air conditioner is operated, condensation occurs naturally.

The condensate drain allows it to flow out of the system and out of your home. If you have a blockage in the condensate drain, water will clog in the system and wet the air filter. The most common reason an air conditioner loses water is because the frozen evaporator coil has started to thaw. Clogged air filters are often the primary cause of the evaporator coil freezing, so it's important to replace the air filter at least once every 90 days. Most homeowners know that a clean air conditioner filter is an integral part of their HVAC systems. If the air conditioner filter is wet or feels damp and soaked when you are going to replace it, there is a problem somewhere within the system itself.

Plus, if you don't get to the root of the problem, your wet filter can't remove dust and dirt from the air and keep it out of the air conditioner. If you see frozen coils, turn off the system and allow enough time for the coils to completely thaw, and then replace the air filter. Before you worry that something is seriously wrong with your air conditioner, you must first make sure that the filter is actually installed correctly. We even have an air filter subscription service, so you'll never have to worry about forgetting your air filters. If the drain tray of the condensing system is leaking, it can allow moisture to reach the air filter. If the air filter becomes clogged with moisture, it is more difficult for the air conditioning system to “breathe”.

With nowhere to go, condensate accumulates in the drip tray until it overflows, resulting in a wet floor or, in some cases, a soaked air filter. If you normally keep your air conditioner at 74 degrees, your system won't emit enough air to make it look like 74. An air conditioner adjustment helps you avoid blockages, build-ups, and other unnecessary damage that a humid air filter can cause. If you already have an air conditioner and replacing it isn't in the plans, then you'll want to make sure you hire a licensed contractor to inspect it regularly. If you have a damp air conditioner filter and none of the above steps helped you resolve the problem, you can contact AND Services for all your HVAC repair needs. If your oven is humid during cooling season and you see water around your indoor AC unit combined with hot air from vents, you may have a frozen evaporator coil. The air conditioner effectively cools your home by moving moist and warm air through a series of evaporator coils.

If your AC's filter is wet or damp when replacing it, there's likely an issue within your system that needs addressing. To avoid blockages and build-ups caused by humid filters, make sure to adjust your AC temperature accordingly and hire a licensed contractor for regular inspections.