Air ConditioningAC Tip: Keep the Drain Line Clear

You may be thinking your air conditioner doesn’t use water and wondering why you would have to keep a drain line clear. It’s true that your central air conditioner or heat pump does not use water as it cools your home. However, the condensate drain line is an important part of any home cooling system. The answer is right in the name of the drain: condensation.

Your air conditioner in Bremerton, WA evaporates refrigerant in order to remove heat from the air surrounding and passing over it. For more on how your air conditioner works, read more here: How Does Air Conditioning Work? During this process, the system also draws moisture out of the air. The moisture condensates on the evaporator coil, drops down into the condensate drain pan, and drains out of your home through the drain line. But if that drain line is clogged, you’ll run into problems.

Why clean the condensate drain line?

puddle on kitchen floor

There are a few different reasons. First, to avoid a mess. If your condensate drain line is clogged with algae or other debris, the water has to go somewhere. Unfortunately, it could end up all over the floor surrounding your air conditioning system. This wet floor could damage your property.

Water damage near your indoor AC unit is not the only problem to consider either. You should also consider the lasting effects of this type of moisture. Damp conditions are ideal for biological pollutants to grow. If the area around your AC remains damp due to a backed up drain line, it’s possible for mold to grow.

Also, consider the overall operating quality of your air conditioning system. Many AC systems have switches that are designed to protect your home from issues caused by an overflowing condensate drain pain or backed up condensate drain line. These switches prevent problems by shutting down completely. If your system senses water is approaching max capacity, your AC system may shut down until the water is back at a safe level.

How to clean the condensate drain line

hand holding cleaning solution in spray bottle

Cleaning the line is quite simple. You can buy over the counter cleaner, or make a simple vinegar solution. If you are uncomfortable accessing your condensate drain line, contact us. We’ll be able to access it without a problem.

If you do want to proceed on your own, check the drain pan for cracks and clear out any blockage in the drain line. It’s a good idea to have rags on hand, and you might want a wet/dry vacuum to clear out the drain line. Pour some of your solution down the drain line, let it sit for a few minutes, and then flush with some warm water. Make sure you properly put the drain pan back in place.

If you need any help with your condensate drain line or air conditioning services in general, contact Sullivan Heating & Cooling. We can handle any maintenance, repairs, or installation.


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