Is Your Condensation Drip Line Blocked?

condensation drip pan for a/c system

Your air conditioner does two jobs: It cools down the air and it dehumidifies the air. If you live in a dry climate, you want the AC to dehumidify as little as possible because it uses extra energy and makes you spend more on lotion due to dry skin. If you live in a humid climate, you really want it to dehumidify the air as well as it can to keep your indoor air dry and comfortable. But where does all that condensate go?

With most homes it goes outdoors through a pipe. Sometimes there’s a little pump that pumps it out, but most often it drains by gravity alone. Occasionally that condensate line gets clogged. Anytime you see any leaking water emitting from the air-conditioning unit, you should never assume that it is operating properly. Many times, the leaking water from the HVAC system will indicate that some component inside the air conditioner has become broken, or is malfunctioning. The easiest way to avoid any potential repair bill is to take action once the problem has been discovered.

Condensation Leaks

Many times on scalding hot days the home’s air-conditioning unit will run on a continuous basis as a way to maintain a comfortable level of air temperature inside the house. This type of leaking is normal, and is a product of too much condensation being generated on the evaporator coil. One process of the evaporator coil is to automatically dehumidify all the air from the interior of the home. As the humidity is withdrawn, dryer cooler air is pumped into the home.

Usually all of the condensation that has been removed from the air through the evaporator coil will automatically dispense through the drain line into the drain pan. However, on very hot days there is likely too much condensation being removed at one time, causing an overflow in the drain pan. In the event that the condition continues to recur, it is likely a good idea to call an experienced HVAC contractor in Phoenix, such as Norris Air.

Unfortunately, this part of the system is often overlooked during regular A/C maintenance. Sometimes HVAC technicians may forget to clean the drain during a regular service call, which means that it’s up to you to check and clean the condensate pan and drain line before a problem develops (Norris Air never forgets).

Air Flow Restriction

The filters of the air-conditioning unit can quickly become clogged with debris, dust and other particles that are pulled from the home’s interior air. Cleaning the line will remove clogs and blockages and prevent algae and mold from growing. With too much buildup of dust and debris, the evaporator coil inside the air handler can quickly form layers of frozen condensation (ice). Almost as quickly, the buildup of water will automatically spill over the edges of the condensation pan and run out of the A/C unit. The filter must be changed regularly, and even more often, when there are high levels of dust inside the home.

Deteriorating Insulation

In older homes, deteriorating insulation is often a problem that can cause water dripping from the A/C unit. Condensation typically builds up on the copper pipes that run a refrigerant from the outside compressor to the air handler inside the home, and back to the exterior condenser. A buildup of condensation can easily occur at any point that has deteriorating insulation.

Call an HVAC Pro

No matter what problem is causing water to drip from the air conditioning unit, it usually requires the skills of a licensed HVAC contractor. An experienced air and heating technician will be able to diagnose the issue and know the proper course of action to resolve the problem. If you feel your air conditioning system may have an issue with it’s condensation or it’s starting to sound different when running, please call Norris Air today 480-832-3330. Scheduling service now and maintaining your system will save you more money down the road. We also offer excellent maintenance plans to keep on top of your cooling and heating systems. Check them out here.