In the hot months of the summer, we depend on air conditioning to keep us cool. It isn’t until something goes wrong and the cool air stops blowing that we realize the importance of a reliable system. The humidity, dust, and rain during the monsoon in Arizona can present the greatest challenge to the air conditioning system, causing clogged condensate drains and potentially costly damage to both your home and your system. So, what is a condensate drain, and how exactly do you protect against a clogged drain? Here’s what you need to know:
What is a condensate drain?
The condensate drain in your AC unit is designed to collect and drain the condensation build-up that naturally occurs. As your unit cools humid air, the moisture from the humidity becomes water droplets that need to be dispelled from the system. The condensate drain is responsible for dispelling that liquid.
A clogged drain, however, can cause several issues. Moisture build-up can lead to mold and bacteria growth, dust and dirt washed from your coil can clog your drain, especially at a trap, and prevent water from draining properly. The excess water can damage the unit, flood and damage the surrounding area, or (in extreme cases) cause an electrical short or fire. Keeping that drain clear and clean is essential to maintaining the effectiveness of your unit and the safety of your home.
How to keep your AC condensate drain clear
- Schedule regular maintenance for your AC unit: Annual or semi-annual maintenance of your unit is the best way to ensure your drain is clean and functioning properly. Maintenance ensures there is no mold build-up and that clogs are cleared away.
- Change your air filter regularly: Monsoon dust storms mean air filters get clogged faster than other times of the year. If your system isn’t filtering out that excess dust, it has the potential to combine with AC condensation and clog the condensate drain. Keeping your air clean also impacts your AC unit.
- Consider using a safety switch: A safety switch causes your unit to shut off if the condensate tray is too full. This protects your unit from potential damage and indicates to you that there is a drainage issue.
- Install a cleanable p-trap. These traps are clear so you can see when they are dirty and have removable caps that allow you to run a brush through to clear the trap.
- Schedule regular cleanings: On top of your routine maintenance checks, scheduling a professional cleaning, especially during the monsoon, will keep your condensate drain clear and give you peace of mind.
The best way to protect your condensate drain, your AC unit, and your home is to keep your unit maintained and functioning properly. The potential for any issues or damage is dramatically reduced with regular maintenance and cleaning.
Ocean Air provides air conditioning maintenance, installation, and repairs, ensuring that your unit is clean and effective all year long, for years to come. Contact us today to learn more about how Ocean Air can serve you.