The condensate drain line on your central AC unit does more to keep your unit running properly than you may think. If it’s clogged, you may have to worry about water backing up into your home, or worse. Thankfully, it’s fairly simple to unclog a drain line, and you can do it yourself in just a few minutes.
The condensate drain line coming off of your AC lets the excess water drain from your unit — water caused by condensation when the hot air is passed over the cooling coils. Because the unit dehumidifies the air as it cools it, a significant amount of water may be produced over the course of the day. This water has to have somewhere to go, which is the purpose of the line.
A clogged line can cause serious headaches. First, the water backing up inside the unit may splash onto the coils, where it will freeze. This will stop your AC from working until the ice thaws out again.
The water could also back up out of the unit at the seams, which could flood the section of your home that the AC is installed in. And if it’s a slow leak that you don’t notice right away, you could also find a host of mold, mildew, or bacteria in the water. That’s why it’s so important to get the line unclogged as soon as you notice a problem, rather than just hoping that the problem is going to take care of itself.
There are essentially two ways to unclog the line: call a professional or do the job yourself.
If you suspect that a clogged line is not the only problem, or it’s past time for your regular maintenance or tune-up, you may want to give a professional a call. Not only will a trained technician unclog your line, he will also flush it and check over the rest of the unit to discover any problems or issues that you may not have noticed yet. A good maintenance schedule can help prevent clogs from occuring, because a tune-up typically includes a line flush that gets out an algae or debris that could clog up the line over time.
If you’re fairly certain that the only issue is a clogged line, and you have a wet/dry vacuum handy, there’s no reason why you can’t unclog the drain line yourself.
Keeping your condensate drain line clear is a crucial part of making sure your AC unit runs efficiently all summer long. Consider a regular tune-up to keep it from getting clogged, and make sure that you take care of clogs as soon as you find them, either by removing them yourself, or calling in a professional. Don’t wait until you have a serious water problem on your hands, and keep your AC running in top condition all summer.
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