How Often Should You Have Your A/C’s Condensate Drain Line Cleaned?

Because your air conditioner produces more than just cool comfort, a functional condensate drain line is critical. On a humid summer day here in San Antonio, the A/C evaporator coil extracts gallons of water from the air. If everything’s functioning correctly, the drip pan underneath the indoor air handler collects the water and the condensate drain line conveys it safely into the household drain system. If something goes wrong and the drain line clogs, the drip pan will rapidly overflow every time the system cycles on. This can cause substantial indoor water damage before the problem is even noted.

What Causes Condensate Drain Line Clogs?

The environment inside the condensate drip pan beneath the air handler—constantly wet, warm and dark—is perfect for growth of algae and mold. This sticky, gooey substance becomes thick enough to eventually obstruct free flow of water through the drain line. Other debris like dust may accumulate in the pan over time and also clog the drain line.

How to Prevent Clogs

Basic DIY maintenance may make drain line clogs less likely. Once a month during the cooling season, prepare a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water. Pour two cups of the mixture directly into the drip pan under the indoor air handler to inhibit mold and algae growth.

What to do When the Drain Line Clogs

Inspect the condensate drip pan at regular intervals. It should be wet, but if you notice standing water in the pan or water pooling around the air handler, you can assume the line is clogged. Turn off the air conditioner to prevent further overflow and water damage. Call for professional HVAC service to clear the clog and restore flow.

Annual A/C preventive maintenance by a qualified HVAC service tech helps prevent drain line clogs. The service includes inspection and cleaning the drain pan as well as checking for proper drain line function. Time-release biocide tablets added to the drip pan at that time can prevent algae formation for the entire cooling season.

For professional service to prevent or resolve condensate drain line clogs, contact Beyer Boys.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).