When the thermostat rises, your air conditioner goes to work keeping your
home cool, and during the scorching summer temperatures, your system has
to work extra hard to keep up with the demand. The cool temperature of
your condenser coil causes water to condense on it, which eventually drips
off and normally exits without issue. However, when the condensation can’t
flow away, you may find yourself facing a major problem, such as an ineffective
system or even a breakdown.
Spotting a Condensation Issue
Is there unexplained water on the floor near your air handling unit or
evaporator coil (the indoor portion of your air conditioner)? This is
usually the first dead-giveaway sign of an issue. Your air conditioner
has a drip pan located on the bottom of the unit that is connected to
a drain line. The drain line simply carries this water away from your
home. If the drain in your drip pan becomes clogged, the condensed moisture
can’t be carried away, and that’s when the trouble starts.
As the condensation collects in the pan, it progressively builds up until
it has nowhere else to go, spilling out over the edges and onto the floor
surrounding the unit. Before this happens, however, you might notice the
odors first: condensation buildup is a prime condition for mold and mildew
growth, creating a musty smell and possibly increasing the suffering of
those who have sensitive allergies.
A clog in your drip pan generally forms over time. Dust and other airborne
contaminants can be taken out of the air by the moisture that condenses
on your coil fairly easily, causing it to drip down into the pan. Over
time, this dirty moisture leaves its deposits behind in the pan, resulting
in buildup, clogging your drain, and causing the water level in your drip
pan to rise without receding. If left untreated, this exposed and dripping
water could even cause major damage to your home.
Repairing a Drain Line
If you do find yourself facing a clog, rest assured, the fix is actually
not that difficult if you have some confidence in your handiwork skills.
Here is the fastest way to take care of this issue and clean up any mess
that may have been left behind by a clog.
- Shut off your air conditioner, first at the thermostat, and then at the
circuit breaker panel.
- Locate your drip pan, which is at the bottom of your air conditioning unit.
If you can’t see it, you may have to remove a front sheet metal
panel to expose it.
- If water is present in the drip pan, remove it using a wet/dry vacuum or
some towels or rags.
- Remove the drain pan. This may require loosening a bolt or fastener of
some sort, but make sure the pan is empty so you avoid spilling any water
when you do remove it.
- Clean away the mold, algae, or mildew that may have formed either on the
pan or the area around your HVAC unit by using warm water and a mild soap.
- Using your hand, create a seal around the drain line and the vacuum, then
turn it on. Run the vacuum for about one minute to see if you can remove
the clog this way. If this does not work, use a small, flexible rubber
tube to dislodge the clog by forcing it down the drain tube. This may
take some patience to do properly.
- Finally, you’ll want to clean the drain line. Remove the cover to
the access drain and pour either distilled vinegar or a mixture of hot
water and dish soap down the drain. Leave it for 30 minutes. Once this
has passed, have a second person watch the outside exit as you rinse the
lines with clean water. When the water is coming out clean and freely,
you’ll know the clog has been removed and your drain pan should
function properly again.
If you are not comfortable performing this repair, call a Palm Beach County
HVAC professional from Phoenix Air Conditioning now! Dial 888.660.4337
to schedule a service or
receive a repair estimate for your air conditioning issues!