Air Conditioner Condensation: Should I Be Worried?

Air Conditioner Condensation: Should I Be Worried?Condensation produced by your air conditioner isn’t a problem, it’s actually a benefit—that is, as long as the system that drains away the condensation functions properly. In addition to taking heat out of indoor air, an air conditioner also extracts water vapor, too.

Dry air cools more effectively and feels more comfortable. As household air passes through the A/C evaporator coil inside the indoor air handler, condensation forms when warm air contacts frigid coil surfaces.

On a humid Indiana summer day, you’d be surprised how much water the evaporator wrings out of your indoor environment—in a larger home, amounts exceeding 20 gallons per day aren’t unusual.

When Good Condensate Goes Bad

A/C condensation drips down into a shallow drain pan beneath the air handler. From there, it’s conveyed into a drain line connected to the household drain system. If anything goes awry, however, condensate overflows causing substantial indoor water damage.

Here’s what can happen: The wet confines of the drain pan inside the warm air handler form the perfect environment to spawn algae or mold growth that clogs the drain line. As the air conditioner continues producing condensate, the clogged pan quickly overflows, potentially spilling gallons of condensate per hour into your house. Often condensate overflow goes unnoticed for some time.

What To Do Now

  • If you notice signs of condensate overflow, turn the air conditioner off immediately and call a qualified HVAC contractor.
  • A service technician can blow out the condensate drain line to clear the clog. Then, he’ll disinfect the drain pan to eliminate residual algae or mold.
  • As a further preventive measure, the technician can place time-release biocide tablets in the drain pan to keep it clear of algae or mold growth for the entire cooling season.
  • To protect against water damage from condensate overflow, consider having a condensate overflow switch installed. If the drain line clogs, the switch senses that the pan is over-filling and turns off power to the unit before overflow occurs.

Serving Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley since 1922, the professionals at Paitson Bros. offer prompt service for issues like overflowing condensation.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about condensation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

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