The Importance of Condensate Line Cleaning

close up still of water droplets hitting the ground.

Your central air conditioner keeps you cool and dehumidifies your Arizona home.

It removes moisture from the air and sends it through a pipe, called a condensate drain, to the outdoors. The drain is an essential heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system component. Maintaining it prevents mold buildup and reduces clogs that can lead to a mess.

We take preventative maintenance seriously at Hamstra Heating & Cooling, Inc. Our qualified pros clean the condensate drain and inspect the condensate pump during air conditioning system tune-ups. We can help you avoid water damage to your home and HVAC equipment.

According to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), five to 20 gallons of water drain out of the condensate line daily, depending on the air conditioner’s size, how long it runs, and how much moisture is in the air.

If your condensate drain is clogged, the water can drip inside your air conditioner and onto the floor. Imagine finding 20 gallons of water pooled around your heating and cooling system, soaking carpeting, nearby appliances, and furniture.

Water damage can be costly to your home and HVAC system, but it is avoidable with routine air conditioning maintenance. We make it easy to keep your condensate drain clean through our Choice Service Club maintenance program. Our plans include annual equipment tune-ups, repair discounts, and timely service responses.

A Closer Look at Condensate Drainage

Your air conditioner is not the only HVAC unit with a condensate drain. Heat pumps, which transfer heat through refrigerant like air conditioners do, drain water when in cooling mode.

High-efficiency gas furnaces also create condensate that drains to the outdoors. The moisture results from exhaust gases moving through the unit’s second heat exchanger. The condensate from a high-efficiency furnace is acidic.

When the refrigerant in your air conditioning system or heat pump reaches the evaporator coils, it absorbs heat from the indoor air. A fan blows the cooled air into your home, leaving moisture on the coils. The condensate drips into a drain pan and then into the condensate drain.

Some systems use a condensate pump rather than gravity to move the water from the drain pan into the condensate drain.

As the condensate drips off the evaporator coils, it can pick up debris that eventually clogs the condensate drain. That is why condenser coil maintenance is essential for your HVAC equipment. Our qualified technicians at Hamstra Heating & Cooling include coil cleaning in air conditioner checkups.

Clues Your Condensate Components Are Blocked

  • You do not see any water dripping from the condensate drain.
  • You see water pooling around your HVAC system.
  • Your air conditioner does not work. Some AC units include a switch that shuts the system down to prevent the drain pan from overflowing when a clog in the drain line begins to form.

DIY Condensate Line Cleaning

If you plan to clean your condensate drain and pan without professional assistance, start by assembling tools and supplies. You will need a shop vacuum, distilled vinegar, and paper towels or rags.

Check the drain pan found under your system’s air handler. If it is full of water, your drain line probably has a blockage. Soak the water in the pan up with paper towels or suck it out with your wet/dry shop vac.

Use the shop vac to remove the clog. Place it at the end of the condensate drain, typically found near your outdoor unit, and turn the vacuum on.

Next, move indoors to the drain’s access point. Look for a vertical PVC pipe with a cap near your air handler. Pour approximately one cup of vinegar into the vertical pipe.

Schedule AC Maintenance Today

Why fuss with condensate drain cleaning when our pros at Hamstra Heating & Cooling can service it for you? Look forward to months of cooling comfort by scheduling an air conditioning tune-up for your Tucson, AZ, home. Call us at 520.629.9833 or request service online.

Need HVAC Service?

Contact the experts at Hamstra Heating & Cooling.

Call us at 520.629.9833