As your air conditioning system works to keep your home cool, it also collects water droplets along its evaporator coil. This is a normal part of how air conditioning works: as the evaporator coil absorbs heat from the indoor air, it also absorbs water moisture. In a place like Alexandria, which often suffers from high humidity, this can add up to a great deal of water collecting across the coil. But the AC has a way to deal with this: the water drips from the coil and collects in a shallow pan (the condensate pan) below. Then a pump draws the water down a drain line and out of the house.
What can go wrong when an AC’s drain clogs
The drain line can suffer from clogs. The two main causes of this are algae developing in the line and dirt catching inside it. (One of the reasons it’s so important to change the air filter once a month when the air conditioner is operating is that a congested filter will allow dirt into the cabinet and possibly down the drain line.) A clogged drain can trigger a number of problems:
- Water damage: The condensate pan is shallow, so if the drain is blocked water will rapidly overflow. This may cause hundreds, even thousands, of dollars of water damage to your home.
- Fire hazards: Water that drips onto electrical equipment in the air conditioner or the heating system (which is often located below the AC in the cabinet) can potentially create a fire danger.
- System shutdown: Because of the concerns about fire hazards, some air conditioning systems are designed with a limit switch that will shut off the AC if the condensate pan startd to flood.
- Mold, mildew, and more: As water drips out of the air conditioner, it will trigger high humidity that encourages the growth of damaging mildew and unhealthy molds and bacteria.
Do you need to have your air conditioner’s drain line unclogged? Call on Oasis Heating, A/C & Refrigeration for fast AC repair service in Alexandria, VA—any time of the day or night!