How A Clogged Air Conditioning Drain Can Create Serious Problems

4 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog

The importance of maintaining the air conditioning unit in your home doesn't stop when the weather gets cold. It is not advisable to leave problems brewing because more damage may occur if the unit continues to operate with a lingering issue. One of those problems that don't seem that harmful is a clogged AC drain, but it can cause some serious problems.

The Drain's Function

Excess water from the functional unit drips into a condensate pan when the air conditioner is running during the summer months as it absorbs the heat and moisture along the evaporator coil. When the line gets clogged by rust, dirt or other debris, the line can cause damage. This combination can make a messy sludge and clog the drain.  It might require some diagnosing to discover the culprit.

Fire Hazard

Fire can be caused if water drips onto any electrical equipment, including an air conditioner. Even during the winter months, this water could drip onto the heating system that is located under the AC in the cabinet of the unit and cause corrosion.

Water Damages and Your Health

The leaking water can cause damages to the home if it isn't repaired in a timely manner. The condensate pan is very shallow and can easily overflow. When this occurs, mildew and mold can become an issue to the home's structure. This might also lead to bacteria building up in the home that can flare up allergies and asthma.

How to Fix It

If you can locate where the clog is at in the line, air pressure can release the clog. You can use a shop vac to suck the gunk out of the pipe. It might require a trip to the hardware store to get some fittings, but it can be done. The main purpose is to get a tight fit between the drain pipe and the shop vac.

A safety sensor switch should be located on the inside of the drain pan to eliminate damages. When the water reaches a certain height, the sensor will be activated. The air conditioning unit will shut down until the water has been removed. Unfortunately, if this fails, you might find it necessary to call an HVAC trained professional for the job.

These are several ways your home can receive damage from a clogged air conditioning drain. Regular maintenance of the unit should help eliminate some of these problems. However, if you aren't sure you understand all that must be done to fix the damages caused, it might be time to call an air conditioning service like Seliga Heating and Cooling.