Is It Normal To Have Mist Coming Out Of Your AC?

Is your air conditioner suddenly blowing a mist along with cool air? You may be surprised to learn that this is actually quite normal! 

While this may seem strange and startling, many homeowners call in with this problem. To help out, we’ve created a post to explain the mist coming out of your AC unit and how to prevent it. Keep reading to learn how you can get your air conditioner to blow air, not water. 

Is your AC blowing mist? Here are the top reasons why

If you notice your air conditioner blowing mist, here are the common culprits. 

Clogged drain hole

A clogged drain hole is a common cause of air conditioner mist. The purpose of the drain hole in air conditioners is to allow condensation to escape. However, over time, dust and debris can build up causing a blockage.

This leads to backed-up condensation in the air conditioner which then gets released as a mist or fog from the AC vents. Especially in older units, misting might indicate a drain hole blockage.

Regular cleaning and maintenance duties should involve checking for and clearing any visible obstructions to ensure your air conditioning system functions properly. 


Humidity serves as another common cause for mist coming out of your AC. This occurs when moist air encounters the cool surfaces inside your unit, leading to condensation and eventually forming water droplets that blow out as mist.

High humidity not only creates a build up of condensation on the AC vents but can also present serious risks to your electrical system by damaging the internal equipment and wiring. Furthermore, if your air filters are clogged, it may force your AC unit to work harder which can lead to increased condensation and even more mist.


Overheating can be a serious threat to air conditioners. Many times it can lead to steam coming out of your air conditioner and eventually breaking. This often happens when airflow through your system becomes restricted as is commonly the result of a clogged filter.

Blockages can cause AC components to work harder than they should and eventually overheat. Overheating can result in smoke or burning smells coming from your system’s internal compressor. If left unchecked, this overheating may even result in permanent system damage.

A burning smell indicates that an electrical component within your unit is struggling and could potentially malfunction or catch fire. If you smell something burning, it is wise to turn off your system immediately and contact a certified technician as soon as possible. 

Cleaning or replacing filters and receiving professional maintenance checks can help mitigate this and protect your system against further damage.

An issue with the internal components 

Your air conditioner consists of various components that work together to cool your home. If one part is faulty, a domino effect can lead to the entire system malfunctioning, resulting in unwanted vapor and mist from your AC. 

For instance, a failed compressor may not be able to maintain proper pressure levels within the system, leading to condensation and subsequent mist emissions through air vents. Similarly, damaged evaporator coils could reduce the efficiency of heat absorption and distribution which can also cause mist.

Regularly getting your unit inspected by professionals and repaired if needed, helps prevent misting and can maintain the energy efficiency of your system. 

Electrical failure

If you notice mist coming out of your AC unit, it could be due to electrical failure. Faulty wires or electrical connections, can also lead to steam, smoke and/or a foul odor from your cooling system.

These electrical odors are often associated with issues in the compressor, fan motors, or wiring. It’s important to address any electrical problems quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards.

Regular maintenance and professional inspections can help identify and resolve any electrical failures in your AC unit before they become major issues.

Tips to avoid AC mist issues 

While vapor coming out of your AC is a fairly common problem, there are a few things you can do to avoid it. 

Change your AC filters regularly

Replacing cleaning your air conditioner filters regularly can help you avoid several issues with your AC unit. 

We recommend changing your filters once every three months; however, depending on factors like indoor air quality and usage patterns, more frequent replacement or cleaning may be required. Pet owners and those with allergies should also change their filters more often. 

By being proactive about regular filter changes, you can improve your indoor air quality, prevent mold growth and other contaminants, increase energy efficiency and ensure optimal temperature control throughout your home.

Use a properly-sized AC unit

It’s important to make sure you have an air conditioner unit that suits your home needs. This helps prevent mist from coming out of your AC vents, and to keep moisture at bay without creating excess humidity in a space. A properly-sized air conditioner ensures your unit can effectively cool your living space without increasing humidity levels resulting in moisture build-up.

An air conditioning unit that’s too large for a home will quickly cool the air, leading to increased humidity levels and a higher potential for mist issues. On the other hand, too-small units may struggle to remove moisture effectively from the atmosphere.

An appropriately sized AC unit can help create a relaxing indoor environment and prevent mist from coming from your system.

Book annual maintenance checkups

To stop your AC from blowing steam make sure your unit continues running efficiently,  schedule annual checkups with your local HVAC technician. Professionals can catch potential issues early and help you save your money on costly damage and repairs. 

Checkups typically involve inspecting and cleaning all components of your AC unit, such as its coils, filters and drain holes. By taking proactive steps to address any potential issues early, mist or other AC-related problems can be easily avoided.

Do not neglect the regular maintenance of your air conditioning system to keep it operating at peak performance year after year.

For help with your HVAC system, call Clover. 

We hope you’ve gained some valuable information from this article. If you have any questions about your air conditioner or concerns about its functions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Here are Clover Contracting, we aim to provide you with the best service for your home needs. 

If you’re looking for reliable and professional HVAC services in Virginia, contact Clover Contracting today! 

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