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The Importance of Cleaning Your A/C’s Condensate Drain Line

The Importance of Cleaning Your A/C’s Condensate Drain Line

The Importance of Cleaning Your A/C’s Condensate Drain LineYour HVAC system plays an important role in maintaining a comfortable level of relative humidity in your home. That’s crucial in our climate, especially during our humid summers. Too much humidity can make us feel warmer, spurring the need to turn down the thermostat and quickly cool off — thus, wasting energy. To ensure that your air conditioner is able to maintain the right level of humidity, your condensate drain line should be cleaned annually. Here’s why.

Condensation and the HVAC System

As your air conditioner cools the home, return air is drawn into the system, allowing moisture from the home to condense on the evaporator coils. From there, the moisture is channeled into the condensate drain and is expelled from the home.

 

Over time, the evaporator coils may become dirty, particularly if the air filter isn’t regularly changed. When moisture meets that layer of dirt, a kind of sludge can form, accompanied by mold, algae and bacteria. When it enters the condensate line, it can form a barrier to the free flowing of the moisture. The line can get plugged up, and the drain pan, which is shallow, may fill up with water and overflow.

 

When this happens, flooding may occur in your home. Some of the signs of condensate line stoppage are these:

  • dripping sounds in your interior HVAC cabinet
  • puddles on the floor near your interior unit
  • for attic units, water stains on the ceiling or wall near the unit
  • higher levels of humidity in the home

Solution?

The solution for a plugged condensate line is to have it cleaned. Your HVAC technician can perform this task during annual maintenance and may pour a mixture of water and bleach through the line to clean it out. A wet/dry shop vac may also be used with a special attachment to suction out the plug.

To prevent your condensate line from being plugged up, change your air filter regularly, and have the evaporator coils and condensate line cleaned every year.

 

For more on the condensate drain line and your HVAC, contact Powers Heating and Air, serving Peachtree City.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

Are You Aware of These Common A/C Condensate Drain Issues?

Are You Aware of These Common A/C Condensate Drain Issues?Most homeowners would probably agree that the A/C system is a marvelous machine. It cools your home and workplace, and helps mitigate humidity. However, the condensation produced by incidental dehumidification can pose problems if the system isn’t professionally maintained. Read on to learn about A/C condensate drain issues that may crop up this season.

Clogged Drain Trap

As warm airflow blows across the evaporator and fins, large quantities of condensate form and drip into the condensate pan. Condensate carries bacteria and debris with it through the drain system. Before you know it, algae and debris can clog the drain trap in the A/C system when left unchecked. If this happens to your system, the drain pipe should be discarded and replaced.

Water Leaks

There are a few things that need to occur for the A/C drain system to overflow and spill water inside your home. A clogged drain trap is the usual suspect, which backs up water in the condensate pan. If your air conditioner has a backup overflow pan with a float switch, the float switch will shut down the A/C before water spills over.

A leaky condensate pan can cause water spillage in your home. Leaks may occur from a rusted and corroded condensate pan, or a crack in a plastic condensate pan may leak water. Again, the water overflow may be caught by the backup pan, though not all cooling systems have a secondary condensate pan.

To learn more about what can cause A/C condensate drain issues in your home, contact Powers Heating & Air.  Powers services in Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone, Newnan, Sharpsburg, Senoia and surrounding communities of Fayette and Coweta Counties.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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7 Air Conditioner Maintenance Steps a Homeowner Can Handle

7 Air Conditioner Maintenance Steps a Homeowner Can HandleYou often hear about the need to have a professional maintain your air conditioner. However, did you know that homeowners can handle many parts of air conditioner maintenance? Follow these seven steps to help your A/C last longer and perform better between visits from a professional contractor.

DIY Air Conditioner Maintenance

  1. Replace the air filter – Check the filter monthly and change or clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You can save 5 to 15 percent performing this simple air conditioner maintenance task.
  2. Clean the evaporator coil – Commercial foaming agents are just the right tool to remove accumulated dust and dirt from the indoor evaporator coil. Do this yearly to keep the coil in good condition.
  3. Clean the condensing unit – This is the large metal box sitting on a concrete slab outside your home. The housing around the fan, compressor and condenser often collects leaves, dirt and grass clippings. Hose the whole unit down occasionally to clear this debris away.
  4. Trim back foliage – Keep bushes trimmed back two to three feet from the condensing unit and pull weeds growing near the base of the unit to ensure good airflow.
  5. Straighten bent fin – A stray Frisbee or baseball can bend the condenser coil’s fins. You can purchase a special fin comb to straighten these fins and promote proper airflow.
  6. Clear the condensate drain – If the drain clogs, water dripping down from the evaporator coil could back up in the drain pan and cause water damage. Keep the channel clear by occasionally passing a stiff wire or straightened coat hanger through the condensate drain.
  7. Unblock all return and supply registers – Your cooling system is properly balanced. Closing or blocking registers with rugs and furniture can throw the entire system out of balance. Close no more than 20 percent of the supply registers in your home for the most efficient cooling possible.

In addition to these important air conditioner maintenance tasks you can perform yourself, make sure you schedule annual preventative maintenance visits from a professional.

If you haven’t had your A/C serviced yet this spring, please contact Powers Heating & Air today to perform the job for you.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Sebastian Kaulitzki/Shutterstock”

How to Troubleshoot an Air Conditioner That’s Acting Up

How to Troubleshoot an Air Conditioner That's Acting UpAir conditioners have a tendency to act up right at the start of the cooling season or during extremely hot weather when they’re under more strain. The following tips can help you troubleshoot an air conditioner problem before calling in a pro.

Manual Thermostat Malfunctions

If your air conditioner cycles on normally but shuts off again before it properly cools your home, your manual thermostat may need a heat anticipator adjustment. Just remove the thermostat cover, locate the anticaptor level arm and adjust it by one calibration mark. You can try doing this a few times, but if there’s no improvement, contact your HVAC contractor.

Condensate Drain Issues

When your A/C isn’t keeping your home cool enough, humidity is excessively high and you notice pooling water under the unit, the condensate drain may be blocked or the pump may have failed. To troubleshoot the problem, try flushing the drain to clear any accumulated algae and dirt. If that doesn’t work, pour some water into the condensate pan. If it doesn’t drain through as it should, a bad pump is likely the culprit, and you’ll need professional help.

A/C Power Problems

If your A/C is suddenly unresponsive, don’t panic. Look for a tripped breaker or blown fuse in your main electrical panel or inside the system’s blower compartment. If the outdoor compressor unit stops working unexpectedly on an extremely hot day, check whether the pressure limit switch inside the access panel has tripped. If so, a simple reset may be all that’s needed get your A/C operational again.

Airflow Restrictions

When air volume through your HVAC system becomes restricted, you’ll see its cooling capabilities decline while your energy bills increase. You can help prevent this by inspecting the air filter every month and changing it when it starts to look dirty. Treat the outdoor unit’s cooling coil to a periodic wash with your garden hose, and keep vegetation and yard debris cleared away so it can’t block air circulation.

You can contact the pros at Powers Heating & Air anytime to help troubleshoot an air conditioner problem in your Peachtree City home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Maintain Your A/C Mid Season with These Easy Tips

Maintain Your A/C Mid Season with These Easy TipsThe best time to perform maintenance on your air conditioner system is during spring, just before the peak usage in the summer season. It is important to maintain your A/C to improve efficiency and to prevent breakdowns and costly repair bills. Regular preventative maintenance will improve the efficiency of your A/C, thereby saving you money, and will prolong the lifecycle of your unit.

What Should an HVAC Contractor Check?

  • All the electrical connections should be checked, tightened or replaced. The voltage and current on the motors should also be checked.
  • The lubrication of all moving parts is a crucial part of the preventative maintenance service.
  • The contractor should check the safe operation of the system and the system controls.
  • The air conditioner and evaporator coils have to be checked and cleaned for maximum efficiency.
  • The refrigerant level should be checked and adjusted if needed and all leaks should be repaired.
  • The blower components should be checked and cleaned to ensure proper airflow.

What Can You Check?

  • Dirty air filters can impede the airflow and cause damage to equipment. Air filters should be replaced monthly during peak usage.
  • Check and inspect the condensate drain for debris or blockage.
  • Check the thermostat settings and change the batteries on battery operated thermostats.

Preventive maintenance can save money by reducing costly repairs and improving the efficient operation of the air conditioner system, thereby saving money on energy bills. It is important to use a qualified HVAC contractor for any tasks that you are not comfortable performing. Please note that only qualified technicians are allowed to work with the refrigerant in your air conditioner.

For more expert advice about how to maintain your A/C and other issues related to home comfort, please contact us at Powers Heating & Air. We proudly serve the Peachtree City, GA area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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