Condensate drain leaking can put your health at risk and cause costly property and equipment damage. Here’s how to fix it quickly and easily.
Air conditioning is a wonderful thing. Given the miraculous nature of a technology that actually let us control indoor temperature, it’s not surprising that the unique invention that makes our lives more comfortable on so many levels involves a lot of complex processes that entail regular maintenance.
Neglecting to give your AC its due maintenance, even when it involves seemingly insignificant parts and details, can have dire consequences for the well-being of your home and health.
That’s definitely true when it comes to your air conditioner’s condensate drain. The drain line performs an important function that allows your unit to work the way it’s supposed to. It’s easy to ignore build-up in your condensate drain, but when condensate drain leaking occurs, it’s very noticeable and can result in thousands of dollars in water damage.
Fortunately, taking care of condensate drain leaking isn’t hard at all. Prevention is also doable in a few easy steps that take you no more than a few minutes. Here’s what you need to know about condensate drains and how to keep them in shape.
What’s an HVAC Condensate Drain For?
The condensate drain’s role is to eliminate a natural byproduct of heating and cooling. An air conditioner cools you home by passing hot air over the unit’s evaporator coil. This cools the air and lowers its humidity.
As science teaches us, lower temperatures cause water vapor to condense, so the humidity in your air condensates. The purpose of your condensate drain is to remove this liquid from your AC system and indoor environment. It does this by collecting the condensate in a drain pan and then sending it through a drain line that deposits the liquid outside.
Why is a Condensate Drain Leak Something to Worry About?
Once you know that your AC condensate drain is responsible for removing debris, dirty water, and indoor contaminants from your home or place of work, it’s pretty easy to see the havoc that can result if it starts to malfunction.
A blocked and leaky drain system not only spills water that damages and sullies your property; it also causes mold, mildew, and other harmful substances to remain in your drains for months if not treated. Obviously, this can have serious consequences on your health, including throat problems, nasal problems, and irritation of your eyes and skin.
That’s why condensate drain leaks should be addressed right away.
What Causes Condensate Drain Leaking
If you have a bad case of a leaky condensate drain, the most likely causes are algae build-up and the accumulation of ice on the frozen air handler coil. Either way, you need to unblock the drain. Here’s what you need to do.
How to Fix Condensate Drain Leaking
Unclogging your HVAC drain line and stopping a drain leak is easy!
#1. Set your Thermostat to the “Off” Setting
#2. Clean up water in the dampened area with a towel or mop
#3. Check to see if there’s water in the air filter
#4. If this is the case, it’s time to drain!
#5. Get a Wet/Dry Vacuum, connect the hose to the main drain line outside
#6. Make sure the hose is sealed tightly to the drain line, and start the vacuum
#7. After a few minutes, check for debris build-up
You’re now good to go! For a great visual guide to unclogging your air conditioner’s drain, check out this video by HVAC celebrity Dr. Zarkloff.
How to Prevent Condensate Drain Leaking
As you can see from the info above, condensate drain leaks are the result of blockage. The best way to quickly detect clogging is to install a float switch. It’s a device in the condensate drain and drain pan that senses when there’s a backup and automatically shuts down the AC system. This way, you air conditioner doesn’t produce additional condensation that ends up spilling onto your floor and equipment.
If you need help treating condensate drain leaking and/or want to prevent it with a float switch, get in touch with us today at (855) 882-5642. We offer all kinds of financing options , so you’re sure to find a plan that fits your budget. No one in South Florida does AC better than Aloha!