Most homeowners who have an air conditioning system in their homes would have noticed liquid pouring out of their AC unit. This is called the AC drain line which functions to literally drain the accumulated condensation from inside the system to the outside of the AC. This is part of the condensate system which comes after the evaporator coils and drain pan in collecting the moisture. A clogged drain can be a major problem of the AC system as this would cause an overflow of water from inside of the system that could damage the unit. Dealing with the messy inverse drainage of water becomes a problem to deal with aside from fixing the damaged AC system. A small amount of stagnant moisture inside the system could also mean proliferation of molds and bacterial growth that will possibly affect one’s health. There are a lot of ways in order to avoid a clogged condensate drain - even the end-user can do it. It is also recommended to have the system checked once in a while by a certified AC technician to efficiently evaluate the cleanliness and functionality of the draining system. Having the problem prevented from occurring is always better than having more problems from the AC system.
Checking for Signs of a Clogged Aircon Drain
Presence of Molds
Understanding the condensation system which includes the drain will help determine the problem. Mold growth can be a sign of poor AC filter as well as the inefficiency of draining out condensed air. This mostly common and problematic during the summer cooling season wherein the drain portion is usually moist. If the AC is unable to drain out the water properly then it would invite the growth of molds. This alone could have a negative impact on the health of the people inhaling the air inside the room.
Leaking and Flood As a direct result of clogging brought by bacterial and mold growth, this would retain the condensed liquid inside the AC unit and would eventually overflow. The condensate pan can only handle a certain level of liquid before it is expelled outside the AC unit through the drain. Overflowing of water inside your space is observed if the clog inside the drain is left unnoticed for a very long time. This problem doesn’t just affect your AC but could damage your floor and drywall where it is installed.
Sewer Odors There will be a time where one will be able to observe a foul smell or odor coming from the vent of the AC when it is turned ON and operated for long periods. Molds has this very distinct smell that most AC technicians can instantly decipher. The condensate drain forms a U-shaped trap that should work very well when there is no blockage present. This odor is one indication of a blocked drain that should be fixed right away. This fumes produced is created by fungi and bacteria that can be very harmful to the health.
Solutions to a Clogged Aircon Drain
Vacuum the drain line
Calling aircon servicing professionals is very much recommended when solving certain AC problems but one can perform primary measures to alleviate the situation. One safe way of solving clogged drain line is by using a regular home vacuum from the terminal end. This will help remove all the molds, algae, debris that is blocking the passageway of the condensed liquid to be expelled out. This is a safer way to prevent inhaling these harmful organisms.
Replace the trap Several factors could affect and contribute to the clogging of the insides of the AC unit. Another factor would be the nature of the season especially during winter. Any water that passes through the trap and condensed drain line could form some debris and will harden in the bottom. This will give the system a much narrower passage for water to flow. The best way to solve this problem is to replace the trap during the winter to maintain its full diameter of passage.
Place Algaecide One way to prevent the formation of clog in the drain is to apply algaecide in the pan and drain portion of the AC. This is a traditional way of prevention maintenance done by most AC technicians to inhibit the growth of algae. Using this can be a long-term solution to a common problem experienced by most homeowners. Bleach can also be used to prevent the growth of algae but using a dissolved-tablet algaecide is more effective.