Common A/C Condensate Drain Problems You Need to Know About

July 14, 2015

The A/C system in your Des Moines home keeps you comfortable by removing heat and water vapor from indoor air. While heat is transferred to the outdoor unit via a compressor and refrigerant, water vapor condenses on the cold evaporator, producing gallons of water that drain away through the condensate drain. If the air conditioner isn't well maintained, however, A/C condensate drain problems may occur, creating the potential for water damage and indoor air quality issues. Read on to learn the telltale signs of A/C condensate drain problems and steps to take to prevent them.

Mold Growth For mold to develop, water, food and reasonably moderate temperatures are needed. The evaporator coil, condensate drain system and airflow deliver these elements in abundance, which often causes mold and bacteria to develop on the evaporator. As condensate drips from the evaporator into the condensate pan, the water carries mold, bacteria and debris with it. These contaminants can clog the drain trap, which triggers overflow backup systems. Additionally, mold spores and odors may be spread through the air ducts and home. Professional maintenance includes cleaning these components, which can help improve cooling efficiency.

Trap Problems The drain trap on an A/C drain line is like the one under the sink. It helps prevent sewer gases and odors from backdrafting into the home. But it's also the primary location drain clogs occur. If the A/C is well maintained each spring and through the cooling months, trap clogs shouldn't be a problem. Following professional preventive maintenance, it's a good idea to pour a cup of 50/50 bleach and water solution into the condensate pan.

Flooding Most A/Cs have an overflow drip pan if the trap does become clogged and water spills from the primary condensate pan. But if the overflow pan or primary pan are corroded or cracked, water spillage occurs in the home. To learn more about A/C condensate drain problems, contact Lozier Heating & Cooling today. Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: "alexmillos/Shutterstock"