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Keeping Your AC’s Drain Line Clean

ac unit

It’s humid here in East Tennessee! Of course, I don’t need to tell you that—you live it every day, and in the summer it can get intense. As a dog, humidity doesn’t quite affect me the same way it does you. You see, the reason you feel hotter on a humid day is that all the moisture in the air makes it harder for you to release heat through sweating. Dogs don’t actually sweat (okay, a little bit through the paws), we release heat by panting.

However, as an HVAC expert dog, I know quite a lot about why humidity is such a big deal. I’ve talked about how to deal with humidity to stay cool in other blogs. but today, I’m going to look at all that moisture in the air and how it affects your air conditioner.

The drain line removes the water moisture in your AC

As your AC is running, it draws moisture out of the air along with the heat. It has to get rid of that moisture, and it has a drain line to remove it. If you look over your outside AC unit, you’ll see this line dripping out the water.

The drain line needs care and sometimes repair

“Okay, that’s good to know, Olive, but do I need to actually worry about this drain line?”

Yes, you do! The drain line can become clogged up with algae and mold. If this line is blocked, it can cause your air conditioning system to shut off and the condensate drain pan inside the indoor unit to overflow. Not good times—not when you need that AC. The clogged line can also cause water damage in your house and allow algae and mold to grow in other parts of the air conditioner, such as along the coils, which is seriously bad news. There are other problems that can affect the drainage in the air conditioner: the pan may come loose from the drain because of corrosion, allowing water to fall right out of it.

If you notice water dripping out of the indoor AC unit, see the thermostat screen go blank (a sign that an overflowing pan has tripped a limit switch), or detect moldy smells from the air conditioner, you probably have a drain line that needs to be cleaned out, or possibly other drain repair services. If you search the internet, you’ll find DIY tips on this that require you to dismantle parts of the air conditioner and use a shop vac and a solution of vinegar to try to clean the line. I don’t recommend this (especially since vinegar is extremely strong for my canine nose). Instead, call our experts for AC repair in Knoxville, TN and we’ll have the trouble fixed fast and safely.

How can I prevent this in the future?

With all the humidity in the air, you might think it’s impossible to do anything about moisture eventually overwhelming the air conditioner’s drain. But you always have a great weapon against a problem like that: regular maintenance! As part of our routine air conditioning maintenance services, our technicians check the drain line and condensate pan to see if clogs are developing. We understand how important this part of the AC is—and how important a working AC is to you!

Stay cool,