Minimizing Water Problems in Your AC System

AC UnitThere’s a lot that goes into conditioning the air in your home. Controlling the temperature and humidity is a detailed job. Your air conditioning unit removes water from the air using a cooling coil and drains it using the condensate drain line. If there is a problem with the line and the water does not drain, the excess water can cause damage. Oftentimes water damage can go unnoticed as the parts affected by it are out of site. The key to avoiding these problems is prevention. Here are some prevention tips:

Change your AC Filter. You’re probably noticing a trend in all the prevention posts: changing out your filter is nearly always the first tip! This is because a dirty filter is the leading cause of all AC problems. Changing out the filter ensures that the system is running at full capacity and full efficiency, therefore preventing many problems.

Get annual AC inspections. Usually this should be done right before seasons of high use (think summer). Your HVAC contractor will examine the drip pan for any leaks, debris, or mold, verify all lines are functioning normally, and clean the system if any problems are found. The evaporator coil will also be inspected for any dirt build-up and may recommend treating the coil as a preventative measure.

Install a safety float switch. Or, rather, have your HVAC contractor do it for you. The safety float switch is installed in the condensate drip pan or trap. The switch senses when water levels are dangerously high and turns the unit off before overflow or damage can occur.

Watch for signs of a plug in the main line.  A lot of systems have a backup drain installed that takes over when the main line is clogged to prevent complete system failure, but it is good to be aware of signs that the main line is clogged. Watch for water running out of the backup drain line or leaking out of the system. If you see this, immediately turn off your system and call your HVAC technician before the next use.

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