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Preventing Air Conditioning Water Leaks

AC unit outside by some bushes.

One of the most common complaints we get in late summer is water leaking from the air conditioning system.  If your unit is in the attic, this can cause a great deal of damage and aggravation.

Drain lines clog up from dust and other matter that get into the AC System, as well as fungal and other buildup within the pipe. Many current air conditioning drains have a cut-off switch connected to a float on the drain system. These are designed to shut down the air conditioning compressor and sometimes are wired to shut down the entire air conditioning system, causing the thermostat to go blank. Regular air conditioning maintenance helps to control the blockages that build up in the air conditioning drain lines. If there is not a drain safety installed on your system, when the drain line clogs or fails in some way, the condensation can spill over.  Air conditioning systems produce a lot of water that can potentially cause a lot of damage to your home.

The best way to avoid a backed up A/C drain is to have a licensed HVAC service company perform preventative maintenance every year.  One of the maintenance tasks we perform is flush the drain and place anti-fungal condensate pan tablets to the condensate pan that will also help to prevent sludge and buildup. Your technician should also inspect the orientation of the drain line. If not properly supported, the lines tend to sag over the years. That can cause what is referred to as a double trap, which can also stop the condensate from draining to the outdoors.

You should also use a quality air filter and make sure to change it regularly since dust particles and other matter can accumulate on the evaporator coil and end up in the drain line which can contribute to a drain line clog.

Your HVAC technician can also tell you if you have a drain safety switch installed. This is a safety feature we add to most (if applicable) of the new systems we install.

The bottom line is BE PROACTIVE. Keep your system maintained, as the manufacturer suggests. This helps to avoid potential large problems like water leaks.  It also keeps your system running more efficiently and helps it to last longer.

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