Tag Archives: evaporator coil

Condensation On My Air Conditioner Unit: Should I Be Worried?

Condensation On My Air Conditioner Unit: Should I Be Worried?When something is wrong with your air conditioner, it will let you know in a number of different ways. Maybe you have a gut feeling your energy bills are too high, and you certainly know when your home is uncomfortable. Another sign your air conditioner is failing is condensation collecting on and/or around it. Switch the thermostat and your panic buttons off, and keep reading before you make your next call.

What Harm is a Little Water?

Water condensation on your air conditioner’s evaporator coil is normal. However, as you’ve realized, water leaking from your air conditioner onto your floor is not acceptable. Depending on where your indoor A/C unit is located, condensate leaks may cause damage to your ceiling, walls, flooring and/or other building materials and property.

What to Do?

In order to know what to do about a leaky A/C, it’s helpful to know how condensation forms and the most common reasons why it’s leaking. Condensation forms as a result of water vapor in warm airflow being pulled across the cold evaporator coil. Under normal conditions, the condensate drips into a pan, flows down the drain and through a tube away from your home. End of story — unless your A/C unit is experiencing these problems:

  • A blockage in the drain tube is causing an overflow. Your HVAC technician uses either a powerful blower or heavy-duty vacuum to push or pull the blockage through. Then, the line is chemically treated.
  • The float switch has malfunctioned. Some air conditioners have a float switch that turns off the unit when water fills the drip pan too high. If your A/C is equipped with such a device, but it’s not working, it needs to be repaired or replaced.
  • The drip pan has rusted through or it has broken. Your technician can simply replace the drip pan.

Ask your HVAC technician or plumber if your A/C has a float switch. If not, you’d be wise to have one installed in the drain trap. For assistance repairing air conditioner condensation problems in your Portland home, please contact the professionals at Roth Heating & Cooling today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

3 Common A/C Condensate Drain Problems Portland Homeowners Need to Be Aware Of

3 Common A/C Condensate Drain Problems Portland Homeowners Need to Be Aware OfA/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).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Ron and Joe/Shutterstock”

How to Handle an Air Conditioner That’s Blowing Hot Air

How to Handle an Air Conditioner That’s Blowing Hot AirIf your air conditioner is blowing hot air, it doesn’t necessarily point to a major system malfunction. The problem could be linked to dirty components, a clogged air filter or improper thermostat settings. Read on to see if you can resolve the issue with these tips before calling your HVAC technician.

Check For Evaporator Ice

Ice buildup on the evaporator coil is a common problem, with many potential causes, that essentially stops the cooling process. The evaporator needs free airflow to extract heat from the home. Ice buildup blocks heat exchange. Perform the following steps if there is ice buildup on the evaporator:

  • Turn off the A/C.
  • If the air filter is dirty, change or clean it by manufacturer specifications.
  • Run the A/C in “fan” mode to expedite ice melt.
  • When the ice has melted, check the evaporator to make sure it’s clean. If it’s dirty, use a foaming coil cleaner to clean it.
  • Turn the A/C on as normal. If the ice returns, there is a different problem which requires the expertise of your HVAC tech.

Dirty Condenser

A dirty condenser coil can restrict home cooling as well. Use a garden hose to spray the sides of the outdoor cabinet of the A/C system to remove dirt and grime. You may also try a foaming coil cleaner for cleaning purposes, followed by spraying with the garden hose.

Pressing Compressor Issues

The compressor is located in the outdoor cabinet with the condenser. When you’re cleaning the condenser, this should also help clean the compressor. A dirty compressor can overheat and stop working. If the compressor is making unusual noises, such as humming or rattling, call your HVAC tech.

Thermostat Mode

Check the thermostat one more time. The thermostat should be set to the “auto” or “cool” mode. If you’ve recently installed a new thermostat, check the wiring schematic again to ensure correct and secure terminal connections.

If your A/C is blowing hot air into your Portland area home after trying these troubleshooting tips, please contact Roth Heating & Cooling today for more information or to schedule an A/C tune-up.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Mile Atanasov/Shutterstock”

7 Important Components for Air Conditioner Function

7 Important Components for Air Conditioner FunctionThe purpose of an air conditioner is to remove heat from your home, leaving you cool and comfortable even on the hottest Portland summer afternoons. If you’ve always wondered how it works, consider how seven critical components come together to make an air conditioner function.

  • Blower: Air flowing from supply registers is the work of the blower. This component, which also works with your furnace, circulates cooled air into your home and pulls room-temperature air back for re-cooling.
  • Evaporator coil: This indoor component, located near the blower, is responsible for extracting heat and humidity from the air. This is possible thanks to the refrigerant running through the coil.
  • Compressor: Once it has absorbed heat, the refrigerant is in a gaseous state. It passes through the compressor, where the gas is pressurized and heated even more. This important step prepares the refrigerant to give up its heat.
  • Condensing coil: This is the outdoor equivalent to the evaporator coil. As refrigerant travels from the compressor to the condenser, it expels the heat collected from indoors to the outside. Once the refrigerant is cooled to a liquid, it circulates back inside to collect more heat in the evaporator coil.
  • Fan: The outdoor condensing unit becomes very hot with all that overheated refrigerant running through it. A fan and fins that act as heat syncs draw the heat away so the unit doesn’t overheat.
  • Air filter: While an air conditioner can function without the air filter, dust and dirt in the air would quickly collect on A/C components and possibly damage them without the filter in place. Install an efficient enough filter and you can even improve indoor air quality while the air conditioner operates.
  • Thermostat: This is the control center of the entire air conditioning process, reading the indoor temperature and telling the air conditioner when to turn on and off. You change temperature settings here based on your needs. The higher you set the thermostat, the lower your cooling bills will be.

For more information about air conditioning, please contact Roth Heating & Cooling, serving Portland homeowners since 1976.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Kellie L. Folkerts/Shutterstock”

A/C Maintenance That’s Important to Complete Before the End of the Summer Season

A/C Maintenance That's Important to Complete Before the End of the Summer SeasonThe summer season is winding down in Portland, autumn is approaching, and with it comes the changing temperatures. Air conditioning is used less and less, which makes it the perfect time for end-of-summer A/C maintenance. As a homeowner, you’ll want to attend to some important areas to prepare your air conditioner for the winter. Continue reading

Clean A/C Coils Equal Top Performance, Longer-lived System

Clean A/C Coils Equal Top Performance, Longer-lived SystemOver time, the air conditioner in your Portland area home loses efficiency due to factors such as dust buildup inside your system, loosened electrical connections, and moving parts that have lost their lubrication. Annual preventive maintenance includes a long list of essential tasks that will greatly improve system efficiency, lower your utility bills and extend the life of your system. Although your annual tune-up doesn’t include cleaning your A/C coils, it’s a good idea to schedule a coil cleaning in conjunction with your maintenance service. Continue reading