How to Prevent Clogged Air Conditioning Drains

Air conditioning drains, or condensate drains, are the pipes that expel excess moisture from your air conditioner. It’s important to keep these pipes clear to prevent potential air conditioner problems, which you won’t want to happen, given the warm months to come.

Local HVAC service provider Schmitt shares insight on what causes clogged AC drain lines, how to recognize its symptoms, and how to prevent them.

What Causes Clogged Condensate Drains?

Moisture that ends up in the condensate lines comes from the evaporator coil. Dust, dirt, and other contaminants may get mixed in with the moisture as it drains into the condensate lines. Some of these contaminants get trapped within the pipes, which, over time, build up and cause clogging.

Symptoms of Clogged Drains

The process that leads to clogged air conditioning drains doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it readily observable. Therefore, you should familiarize yourself with the following symptoms:

1. Standing Water — Keep an eye out for standing water near the evaporator coil. Call your local HVAC professional if the water doesn’t readily evaporate.

2. Full Condensate Pan — The condensate pan collects moisture and funnels it into the condensate lines. If it is constantly full, then the drain lines may be partially, if not fully clogged.

3. Moldy Smell — The excess moisture encourages mold growth near the evaporator coils. The more pronounced the moldy smell is, the more widespread the growth is. Mold can spread to other parts of your home, which may trigger allergies or other respiratory problems.

How to Prevent Clogged Air Conditioning Drains

Repairing clogged air conditioning drains typically require replacing the pipes, as well as conducting repairs on the air conditioner and surrounding areas that may have been damaged by moisture. Taking preventive measures is an easier and preferable alternative. You may already have heard this several times before, but it bears repeating: regular inspections and cleaning, as well as adhering to a scheduled maintenance routine, helps prevent this and other HVAC problems.

Since dust and other particles are the primary cause, consider upgrading your usual air filter to High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. These filters have finer filtration properties, which helps improve indoor air quality and minimize the likelihood of clogged air conditioning drains.

Call Schmitt for Your Heating and Air Conditioning Needs

Schmitt is your leading provider of heating and air conditioning services. Give us a call at (415) 522-0966 or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in San Francisco and nearby areas.