A/C condensate drain problems can develop before you know it. By the time you see the signs, substantial damage can be done depending on the nature of the problem. On a hot day, your air conditioner works hard to cool your home. In addition, the A/C evaporator coil also condenses lots of water vapor, which must be drained away effectively. Because the indoor air handler that incorporates the evaporator coil is frequently installed in the attic or a closet, A/C condensate drain problems may begin silently and out of view. Water damage and even contaminated air quality can be the consequence.
Water vapor condensed by the evaporator is collected in a drain pan beneath the air handler and conveyed into a drain line that’s usually plumbed to the household drain system. Blockages in the pan or the drain line can quickly result in an overflow that may continue unnoticed for some time, causing substantial water damage. Annual preventive maintenance by an HVAC technician includes inspecting and testing the drain pan and drain line for proper function.
Continuously wet and exposed to airborne spores, the condensate drain pan is an ideal environment for mold growth. Active mold produces toxic reproductive spores that may infiltrate system airflow and disperse into your house through ductwork. Pouring a cup of household bleach into the drain pan twice a year can inhibit mold growth. If contamination persists, a professional can disinfect the system and place time-release biocide tablets in the pan for long-term protection.
Sewer gas refluxing up the condensate drain line is sealed out by water inside the U-shaped trap. If the trap dries up while the A/C is shut off for the winter, noxious gas may infiltrate the HVAC system and disperse into your home. Pour a gallon of water into the drain pan once during the idle season to keep the trap full.
For professional service to prevent or repair A/C condensate drain problems in your Phoenix or Scottsdale home, contact Wolff Mechanical.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).