The air conditioner consists of various parts and components, each of which serves a specific purpose. Neglecting the upkeep of an important part can later become a headache for the homeowner. One such important part is the AC drain system. It usually consists of the drain pan and the drain line. Keeping the AC drain clean is a relatively easy task, one that can be taken care of by the homeowner.
Also known as the drip tray or the drip pan, the AC drain pan collects the condensate that drips down from the evaporator coils. The cold evaporator coils draw out the excess moisture and warmth of the air that passes over it. This moisture cools and forms water droplets that fall down into the drip pan. So the purpose of the drip pan is to collect all the moisture generated by the evaporator coils and prevent its dripping on the floors.
The condensate cannot keep on collecting in the drip tray. After some time, it will overflow and spill on to the floor. The purpose of the drain line or the drainpipe is to empty the water collected in the drip pan and dispel it outdoors. Failing to do so will create water puddles inside the home.
Why Keep The AC Drain Clean?
1. Cleaning the AC drain is necessary to ensure that no water or condensate spills indoor. Wet spots in the house indicate the increase in chances of mold growth. A clogged drain can also lead to the growth of mold and algae inside the air conditioner. In such a case, when you switch on the AC, the spores will be picked by the passing air. These are then circulated throughout your home, causing allergies and illness to the residents.
2. Secondly, at times when humidity is high, the blocked drain will add to the indoor humidity and make your living space uncomfortable and unhealthy. Most illness-causing germs and micro-organisms thrive in a sultry environment. So, your house will become their ripe breeding ground.
To keep your home healthy, you need to keep the AC drain clean.
Cleaning The AC Drain
Cleaning the AC drain is no rocket science. It’s as normal and as regular as cleaning any drain in your home. With the help of a few basic things, you can do it quite comfortably. All you need is a tub or a bucket to catch the run-off, some rags, and lastly, a vacuum cleaner with a long hose attachment.
1. Before you begin, cut the power supply to the AC.
2. Once that is done, take off its cover to expose the drip tray.
3. Place the bucket underneath it. Mop up the water collected in the drip pan with the help of the rags. The bucket will catch spills, so have no fear.
4. Now gently disconnect the drain line, which is a hose-like structure attached to the drip pan.
5. Connect your vacuum cleaner to the power source and stick the long hose inside the drain to suck out the blockage.
6. Run some water through the hose to ensure that no other obstructions are there inside the line.
7. Reconnect the drain line to the drip tray. Put back the cover or the access panel and reconnect the AC to the power source.
This is all that it takes to clean the drain line. Isn’t that easy and completely doable by anyone?
What To Do If You Are Unable To Clear All The Blockage?
Ideally, when you run clear water through the drainpipe after sucking out the obstruction with the vacuum cleaner, it should flow away. If it backs up and comes spilling out at your end, it means that the blockage still exists. It is quite possible that the blockage may have hardened and become difficult to dislodge. In such a case, your best option is to call the HVAC technician. He can help you get rid of the blockage and salvage the drain line, or replace it with a new one.
Can Cleaning Agents Be Used To Clean AC Drain?
In the past, many homeowners have been using a solution of bleach and water or white vinegar and water to clear the blockages in the drain line. However, there has been a change in the materials that are now used for making the air handlers. As a result, some manufacturers do not recommend using either of these DIY solutions. According to them, the strong vapors released from these solutions can lead to premature corrosion or oxidation and deterioration of the materials. According to some studies, the vapors can also degrade aluminum and copper.
Before using any cleaning agent, it is best to check with your AC manufacturer guidelines in its respect. Conversely, you could also ask your local HVAC contractor for their recommendation.
At Aztil Air Conditioning, we recommend using either plain water or hot water.
Exercise Caution While Cleaning AC Drain
While trying to clean the AC drain, one needs to be very careful. Handle all parts of the AC along with the drainpipe and equipment you use with gentle hands. Being rough with any of them can not only damage the drainpipe but the system as well.
If you are using bleach as a cleaning agent, you need to exercise extreme caution. Spilling it inside the AC can damage the unit, and if you spill it outside, it can ruin your floor or carpets.
In The End
Keeping the AC drain line clean ensures that the condensate that collects in the drip tray drains outside without causing any spillages inside. When there are no wet or damp spots indoors, there is minimal chance of mold and algae growth. Also, the humidity levels remain in check. Overall, you have a healthy and comfortable home to live in.
The air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning in West Palm Beach, Florida, are here to help. If you are facing any problems with your HVAC unit or want to schedule its maintenance, contact us at +1-888-729-8452.