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The Problem with a Clogged AC Condensate Drain


When it comes to troubleshooting air conditioning problems, the most common complaints we get are about the condenser making odd noises, or the AC system not blowing out cold air due to a refrigerant leak. These are both examples of very serious AC system problems that should be repaired right way, but one should never ignore what can go wrong with their condensate drain. But first, you must understand what exactly this air conditioning component is to understand why a clogged drain can create a huge problem.

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What is the Condensate Drain?

When your air conditioner runs, it absorbs heat along the evaporator coil: a process that also draws moisture from the air. This moisture collects along the coil, and eventually begins to drip. Ideally, this dripping water is caught in a condensate pan, where it then needs to be drained by none other than the condensate drain. This component uses a specialized condensate pump to remove the water away from your home.

How Does the Drain Become Clogged?

There are two main causes of a clogged condensate drain. The first that we’ll mention is algal growth. This is a particularly common problem for a humid climate such as ours. The second cause is dirt that has infiltrated the air conditioner’s cabinet, and then into the condensate pan.

Why is this a Problem?

When your condensate pan becomes clogged, it can quickly cause the pan to overflow, as the pan itself is only about an inch deep. If that water were to splash onto electrical equipment, you could have a fire on your hands in the worst case scenario, or you could have extreme water damage and corrosion to your HVAC system.

Water of any kind leaking from your air conditioner has the potential to do a lot of damage to your home. This particular type of water leak can create hundreds of dollars’ worth of damage before it’s resolved, in addition to creating a breeding ground for harmful mildew and mold.

For more information about your condensate drain or to schedule AC repairs in Land O Lakes, FL, contact IERNA’s Heating & Cooling today.