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condensate drain pipe

What Is a Condensate Drain & What Happens When It Clogs?

In your HVAC system, there sits a large metal pan right under the indoor unit. This is what is known as your condensate drain. When you run your air conditioner, water collected from the air will drip out. That water will need somewhere to go, and that is where this drain pan comes in. The condensate drain allows the water to go into the drain pan and out into the drain line.

Chances are you probably never think about your condensate drain and do not feel like it is an essential part of your HVAC system. However, the drain pan is highly important, and if it becomes clogged with debris like dust, dirt, and pet hair, it could lead to a big problem.

What Happens When The Drain Line Clogs?

When your drain line develops a clog, simply put, it will not allow the water to go down the drain. This water will sit in the drain pan and slowly evaporate, or if the pan becomes too full, the water will spill out onto the floor under your unit and cause water damage in your home. When the water gets into the air, it will increase the overall humidity levels in your house. High humidity levels can make your home feel very uncomfortable, and it can cause mold and mildew growth.

In addition to these problems, water can also cause your unit to rust. Rust can make system repairs necessary, and if the rust issues are severe enough, you may need to replace your HVAC system entirely.

Inspecting Your Drain Pan

To make sure that your drain pan is functioning as it should, periodically inspect the area to ensure that it looks like the water is draining properly. Look for any signs of lint, dust, and dirt in the drain pan. If you see a clog forming, you can use a thin stick or even your shop vac and try to remove the clog. If you cannot get the clog removed yourself, you will need to call an HVAC technician out as soon as possible.

Preventing Drain Pan Problems

One of the best things you can do to prevent clogs and any issues with your HVAC system is to schedule routine maintenance. Maintenance done once or twice a year can ensure that your drain line is clear and working properly. When you have maintenance scheduled, part of that maintenance will include cleaning out your condensate drain.

If you believe your condensate drain is clogged or you want to have maintenance, please give us a call today. We can ensure that your drain pan is working as it should and that you have no issues with your air conditioning unit.

For HVAC services in Baltimore, don’t hesitate to call Albright's Mechanical Services: (410) 834-0148.

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