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Air Conditioning Condenser

The ventilation system or room air conditioner contains the evaporator coil of the cooling system. As heat is removed from the air, condensation forms and flows into the drain pan below before exiting the HVAC system via the air conditioning drain line. If the condensate drain in the condensate pan or drain line is clogged, this problem can lead to poor air conditioner performance and even water damage to your home and system air conditioner.

A clogged condensate drain line is an air conditioning problem that doesn't always require professional HVAC service to resolve. If your drain line is clogged, follow these instructions to clear the clog and protect your appliance and your home.

Bannister Plumbing & Air explains why your home may have a clogged air conditioning drain line and what you should do if this happens. If you just can't clean your condensate line after these steps, contact us for air conditioning maintenance and repair service.

Clogged AC Drain Line? Here’s Why

A clogged condensate drain line is a common problem with air conditioning or air handlers, but many Jacksonville, Texas homeowners don't understand why clogs occur. As indoor air flows through the system and over the evaporator coil, airborne contaminants are carried into the unit and deposited on surfaces including the coils and drain pan. Residues found in the air conditioner can include pollen, pet hair, dust, dirt and other particulate contaminants.

During the cooling process, humidity condenses as temperatures drop, converting water vapor into condensate. Condensation forms on the evaporator coils and eventually drips off and is then collected in the condensate pan below. When water flows out of the coils, these pollutant particles accompany it.

The drain pan is connected to the air conditioner drain line so that the condensate can drain out of the air conditioner. Drainage is to a floor drain near indoor appliances or outside the home. This process can cause debris to get stuck in the pipe or tub, and if enough material builds up, blockages will occur. The humid environment and access to nutrients contained in pollutant particles can lead to the formation of mold and algae in the HVAC unit or drain pan. Additionally, these particles can build up and cause blockages in the drain pipe.

Signs of Condensate Drain Line Clogs

If there is a blockage in the exhaust duct of your air conditioning or HVAC system, there are signs that there is a blockage. If your drain line is clogged, you may notice the following:

Yes, blockages in the drain line can prevent your cooling system from turning on and cooling your home. Many HVAC models have float switches in the drain pan. These floats rise as the water level in the tank rises. At some point, the float trips and tells the HVAC system not to run the air conditioner, regardless of the temperature settings on the thermostat. If the air conditioner continues to run, more condensation would form and drip into the drain pan, eventually causing water to run down the sides of the pan and the surrounding areas to become completely wet.

How to Unclog Your Condensate Drain Line

Clogs occur in the drain pan under the evaporator coil or anywhere along the condensate drain pipe that leads from the unit to a floor drain near the HVAC system or outside the home. To clean the drain line yourself, follow these instructions and you may be able to avoid waiting for a technician and paying to unclog your drain line.

These methods can be used to unclog a clogged condensate drain at this access point:

Place the drain opening outside or near a floor drain in the area. Take a brush and clean the pipe opening area to remove dirt and materials that are blocking the drain line in that area, such as  a bird's nest or leaves. 

The following methods can unclog the drain lines at this access point:

If following these steps does not clear any drain line clogs, you will need the help of an HVAC professional to clear your air conditioner's clogged drain line.

Contact Bannister Plumbing & Air for an HVAC service that will clean your exhaust ducts and keep your air conditioning system running efficiently.

Maintain Your Air Conditioner with Bannister Plumbing & Air

Unclog stubborn air conditioning drain lines when your professional HVAC technician performs annual cooling system maintenance. This is just one of many tasks involved in air conditioning maintenance. If clogs occur during the cooling season, HVAC service will ensure proper repairs are made to drain condensate from your air conditioner, preventing water damage to your home. Call Bannister Plumbing & Air today to schedule air conditioning maintenance and cooling system repairs if needed.

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