A/C systems are complex machines that need regular care. When homeowner and professional maintenance are overlooked or discounted, energy bills creep up, comfort suffers and system components begin to malfunction or fail. The condensate drain system, with very few or no moving parts, is no exception. Read on to learn about A/C condensate drain problems you should be aware of.
How the A/C Condensate Drain System Works
The condensate drain system is simplistic in function yet essential for proper A/C function. Condensate formed on the evaporator coil drips into the condensate pan. The water flows down a drain tube to a floor drain or empties outside the home. All you need for a well-operating system are clean and damage-free parts and gravity.
When Things Go Wrong
To borrow from the age-old idiom, when your condensate drain leaks, it pours, so a condensate drain leak is the number one red flag that something has gone wrong in the system. The problem arises when the drain trap becomes clogged with debris, mold growth, algae and anything else that falls into the condensate pan.
A clogged drain is one thing, but water spillage inside your home is quite another. If backup overflow systems fail or are simply not installed on your A/C model, you’re going to have water damage in your home when the pan overflows. Many A/C systems have a backup pan with a float switch so if the primary pan spills over, water is caught in the backup, and the float switch shuts down the A/C. This safety measure prevents water damage, but you’ll still need to call your HVAC tech to turn on the A/C.
The third of A/C condensate drain problems is the mold, bacteria and fungal growth on A/C components. The evaporator coil, drip pan and drain line are like tropical resorts for mold, algae and other contaminants. Not only does the buildup of such biohazards block airflow, increase energy bills and degrade cooling, but the spores are also released to circulate through the home.
For more information about A/C condensate drain problems, contact Roth Heating & Cooling for HVAC solutions in Portland.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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