In addition to removing heat, a central air conditioner extracts humidity, and the A/C condensate drain system is what keeps it from becoming a problem. On a humid summer day, a central air conditioning system can wring over 25 gallons of water vapor from household air. If the A/C condensate drain system functions properly, the process is a non-event that causes no issues. When things go wrong, however, here can be problems. Here are three common A/C condensate drain problems and what to do about them.
Mold and Algae Growth
Located in the warm environment beneath the air handler, a wet condensate drain pan can promote growth of mold and algae that may infect system airflow with toxic spores. Pouring a cup of bleach into the drain pan twice a year is good preventive treatment.
Once mold is established, disinfection by a qualified HVAC technician is called for. After sanitizing the pan, he can also install time-release biocide tablets that inhibit mold growth for a year.
Dry Drain Trap
The condensate drain is plumbed to your household sewer. A U-shaped trap in the PVC drain pipe usually contains drain water to prevent sewer gas from entering the home. Over a lengthy winter of non-operation, however, the drain trap may dry out and the pungent odor of sewer gas may become conspicuous. Pouring a gallon of water into the drain pan will replenish the trap and seal out odors.
A clogged condensate drain pan may overflow silently for some time before it becomes evident, causing extensive water damage to the house. Regular annual maintenance may prevent clogging that causes overflows. For more fail-safe prevention, an HVAC contractor can install a safety overflow switch that automatically shuts down the system before the pan begins spilling damaging water.
For more information on A/C condensate drain pan issues, check out Maxx AC's air conditioning solutions or contact us today.
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