Is Your AC's Drain Line Clogged? Here's How You Can Tell!

If you have a clogged drain line inside your air conditioner, your cooling system won’t be efficient at keeping your home comfortable this season. In fact, as a clog worsens, it won’t just cause premature wear and tear on your air conditioner – it may cause the unit to suffer a total breakdown. Instead of having to deal with a miserably hot home this summer, and a stressed-out and uncomfortable family, check out these quick tips for determining whether your AC’s drain line is clogged.

What is an AC drain line?

First things first, you should know what a drain line is and why it’s crucial to the overall functionality of your cooling system. This vital component is responsible for pulling moisture from the air as the unit is running. The water pools up and is deposited into a condensate pan. From the pan, it trickles down the drain line. If the line is clogged, the condensate pan could overflow and cause serious damage to the internal parts of your cooling system.

Warning signs that you have a clogged AC drain line

Your home smells musty.

A musty, mold smell in your home isn’t normal – especially if you only notice it when your air conditioner is running. While the causes of a musty smell could be many, if you notice this problem along with a home that feels humid and uncomfortable, it could be an indication that your drain line is clogged. While you may think this is just a bad odor you have to deal with, mold can be very dangerous to your family’s overall health and well-being. This is an issue that you should get addressed as soon as possible, particularly if you have children, elderly individuals, or family members with compromised immune systems or respiratory problems in your home.

You notice water spots.

If you see water spots in or around your air conditioner, this could be a sign that the condensate pan in your unit is overflowing as isn’t able to discharge the water through a clogged drain line.

The condensate pan is always full of water.

If you notice that the pan always contains an excessive amount of water, this could be an indication that the moisture isn’t able to trickle through the drain line like normal. This is an issue that will need to be taken care of immediately before the water overflows and damages other parts inside the air conditioner, and before it leads to dangerous mold growth or water damage.

You see standing water inside or around your air conditioner.

Many cooling experts will say that this is the most obvious warning sign that your drain line is clogged and not able to properly drain water away from the system. If you see puddles forming in or around your air conditioner, carefully examine the unit to see if you can determine where the dripping water originates. This will be helpful information for the cooling expert who comes to your home to diagnose and treat the problem.

How can I prevent a clogged AC drain line?

The most effective thing you can do as a homeowner to prevent this common problem is to schedule annual air conditioner maintenance. During a maintenance appointment, a cooling professional will be able to diagnose and fix many problems before they might result in a clogged drain line and/or total system breakdown.

Additionally, it’s important for you to always use a high-quality air filter and change it as often as is recommended in your owner’s manual. Doing so can help prevent contaminants from building up inside your air conditioner.

Do-it-yourself: drain line cleaning

While it isn’t recommended for a homeowner to fix a clogged AC drain line on their own, you are able to help prevent the issue by doing a little maintenance of your own. In between maintenance appointments with a professional, it’s a great idea to pour a cup of bleach or vinegar into the opening of the drain line. This can help to flush out built-up contaminants and keep water running freely.

Want to learn more about Cooling Maintenance?

At Pivotal Home Solutions, we offer a comprehensive Cooling Maintenance Plan. When you are enrolled, you can call us and one of our customer service representatives will work with you to schedule an appointment that fits your personal schedule.