The condensate drain system is a vital component of your central air conditioner, but you may not give it a second thought until it malfunctions and you see tangible signs that a problem is brewing, such as noxious odors, air quality issues or costly water damage. Here’s how you can deal with some of the most common causes of a malfunctioning A/C drain so you can avoid all these headaches and any unnecessary expense.
Drain Trap Gone Dry
Condensate drains that run into the main sewer line have a trap just like your kitchen sink. With regular use of the A/C, enough water stays in the trap to form a seal that blocks smelly sewer gas backups. If a foul odor is circulated whenever the blower cycles on, have the condensate drain system checked by an HVAC technician to see whether the line is improperly installed.
Dirt Buildup on the Evaporator Coil
If dirt and dust particles enter the air handler, they can collect on the evaporator and get carried along into the drain system as liquid condensate drips off the coil. If the situation isn’t addressed, the debris particles can eventually clog the line and cause a condensate overflow that results in water damage to your home. To prevent this, make sure that the coil gets cleaned during your annual system tuneup, and replace your air filter on a monthly basis during cooling season.
Algae or Mold Growth
The air conditioner’s drain system offers mold and algae all the warmth, moisture and food sources they need to thrive. Either one can quickly become severe enough to block the drain line and cause a condensate backup that floods your home. Mold can also invade the ducting and degrade your air quality, or form a blockage in the evaporator coil that restricts airflow and eventually causes a premature component failure. To keep mold and algae in check, clean the collector pan and flush the drain line periodically.
If you’re experiencing condensate drain issues in your Grand Traverse County home and need expert help, contact us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about condensate drains and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
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