Why is steam coming out of my air conditioning?

Have you noticed steam coming out of your air conditioning unit? If so, you’re probably feeling a little concerned. You might even be wondering if your home is on fire and if you need to call the fire brigade! The good news is that you don’t need to start checking your unit for burnt or short circuit wires or dialling 999 just yet. The cause of the steam is usually cold, dry air coming into contact with warm, moist air near the unit. Read on to find out more about why steam is coming out of your air conditioning system.

What causes steam to come out of my air-con unit? 

Why is steam coming out of my air conditioning?


At Optimal Maintenance, we often get calls about steam coming from air conditioning in Sheffield, Barnsley, Hull, and Leeds. This problem is a lot more common during the summer months when the weather is warmer and more humid. Condensation from the water vapour forms in the air when the unit’s temperature is under the dew point. Water builds up in the bottom of the vents, and when you turn on your unit, the air hits these droplets and creates steam. Steam is often odourless, however, it may have a bad smell if there is mould growth in the system. There are certain conditions inside an air-con unit that aggravate the problem. Keep reading to find out more.

Dirty air filters 

When an air-con system is producing steam, often this is the cause of a dirty air filter. The airflow becomes blocked by the dust and dirt particles in the filters, resulting in greater exposure of cold air to moist air. This leads the humidity within the unit to rise, causing the steam to be created. The more moisture there is, the more fog you will see escaping from your vents. Making sure your unit’s air filters are regularly cleaned and replaced is vital for keeping this problem at bay. Hire a professional air-con engineer who can check and possibly replace your filters every few months. 

Low fan speed 

Low fan speed can also cause steam and fog to form. If you run the fan continuously at a higher speed, the air conditioning unit will cool down the room faster. It will circulate it around the room more effectively. The system will therefore dry on its own.

Many people worry when they notice steam coming from their air conditioning unit. Although it’s natural to be concerned if you don’t know what the problem is, the good news is that it’s usually nothing serious. Most often, it’s simply an issue with condensation and humidity within the room. Unless the steam is also producing bad smells, there’s unlikely to be a significant problem with your system. Having said this, it’s a good idea to get your unit checked out by an experienced air conditioning engineer who will be able to provide a more accurate diagnosis. 

Could your air conditioning system be overheating? 

Airconditioning servicing in sheffield

If you discover that the strange mist coming from your air conditioning unit is actually smoke rather than steam, you have a bigger problem on your hands than mere condensation. You will know it’s smoke by the smell, and it’s vital that you deal with this issue right away. Air-con units are constructed from a range of electrical components, which without proper ventilation, can begin to overheat and generate a burning smell. If you don’t do anything about it at this point, it will quickly develop into thick, strong-smelling smoke from your air conditioning system. 

Severely clogged air filters can sometimes cause this type of airflow problem. The unit’s components don’t receive proper ventilation and burning occurs. If you notice smoke coming from your air-con unit, shut it off immediately and call in a professional company offering air conditioning in Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, or Barnsley, Hull. They will need to replace not just the air filter, but probably the component that’s been producing smoke too. 

The importance of regular air conditioning maintenance

Regular air conditioning maintenance can help to avoid problems like steam coming out of your air conditioning system. An experienced engineer can spot issues before they even arise, making sure your unit is working efficiently throughout the year. More and more people are installing air conditioners in their homes. However, it’s surprising how many ignore the need for routine servicing. An air-con unit that isn’t working properly can lead to more than discomfort. Overlooking regular maintenance can lead to breakdowns and expensive repairs. Not only does frequent servicing ensure your unit stays in great condition, extending its lifespan, but it also helps to make sure it’s working at optimum capacity. A properly maintained air-con unit can help you to make massive energy savings, cutting the cost of your bills. 

Why hire Optimal Maintenance

Whether your air conditioning system isn’t working as it should, or you need it serviced to ensure it stays in peak condition, you should call Optimal Maintenance. We’re one of the leading companies offering air conditioning in Barnsley, Sheffield, Hull, and Leeds. Our fully certified engineers carry out air conditioning installation, maintenance, servicing, and repairs to our customers throughout the Yorkshire region and beyond. With over 30 years of experience at hand, you can rest assured that we have the skills, knowledge, and expertise needed to provide a service that’s second to none. 

Get in touch

If you’ve noticed a problem with your air conditioning in Leeds, Sheffield, or elsewhere across Yorkshire, get in touch. Call us on 0114 419 0243 to discuss your requirements or to get a quote. One of our friendly and knowledgeable team will be happy to assist you. Alternatively, you can send us a message via the contact form on our website and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.