Temperatures are already beginning to climb here in the Richmond area, and we all know what that means. Soon enough we will be turning on our air conditioners for the season. When you do so, it’s important to make sure it’s functioning as effectively as it can.
If you have a clogged AC drain line in your Richmond, TX cooling system, however, then the AC unit can’t possibly operate efficiently. Of course, it’s natural if you don’t particularly have much interest in this topic, if you don’t know what a condensate drain is or what it does!
The Condensate Drain Line
If you have a forced air cooling system, then it depends on the adjustment of both the temperature and humidity of outside air before being sent into your home. This process naturally creates condensation, which has to go somewhere.
This is where the condensate drain comes in—the drain is attached to a line which leads outside of your home—known as the condensate drain line. IT’s often developed from PVC pipe, and can become clogged or blocked, preventing your air conditioner—or even your furnace—from properly draining excess condensation.
What Can Cause Condensate Drain Issues?
There are two primary causes of a blocked condensate drain line. The first is algal growth. Unfortunately, in humid areas—areas of high moisture and high heat—this is quite common. Considering how warm it gets in our area starting in the spring, it’s no surprise that this issue is not a rare one.
Another common cause of a blocked condensate drain line is the buildup of dirt or other debris. This can happen if anything infiltrates the AC system’s outdoor unit—dirt, dust, lawn clippings, mulch, leaves—as it can easily enter the condensate pan. This leaves nowhere for the moisture to drain.
What’s the Worse That Could Happen?
You could be tempted to wait to call on an issue such as this, as it seems relatively minor. But think about this—all the water formed by condensation has nowhere to go if your drain line is blocked. This means it will back up into your home.
This opens up your exposure to costly water damage and to creating a breeding ground for mildew, mold, bacteria, and viruses. Additionally, if water drips or splashes onto any electrical components in your home, fire is a very real hazard.
How to Tell if You Have a Problem
Of course, none of this is very helpful if you don’t know how to spot a problem with your condensate drain line in the first place. The most obvious sign is the appearance of water around your cooling system’s indoor cabinet.
This could be refrigerant—which means that you have a leak. Regardless of the cause or the outcome, liquid coming from your cooling system should never be ignored. This is true whether you see a pool of water or water dripping from any area of your air conditioner.
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