Your air conditioner–when working properly–draws moisture from the air and generates water as part of the condensation process. The water produced by the AC system typically runs out the back of the unit or drains into condensation pan attached to a drain line designed to channel the water to a safe area. If you don’t pay attention, water can collect inside the system or drip into areas of your home causing damage.

Your Air Conditioner, Humidity and AC Drain Lines Explained

That’s why it’s important to understand how your system works, the effects of humidity and where your AC drain lines are located.

How AC Systems Work

HVAC systems generate water when cooling homes. AC units feature two sets of coils that continuously heat and cool the ambient air. The coils are connected by a condenser that rapidly heats and cools the air and evaporates and condenses water from the humidity in the air. Condensers use refrigerant chemicals to facilitate the cooling process. The refrigerant cools the coils, which cool air that flows over them. Moistures condense on the coils. Some water re-evaporates to provide additional cooling, but the process produces more moisture than can be handled. This water must be channeled out of the system. You’ve probably observed dripping window-AC units. All cooling systems must drain excess water, or problems will develop. The problems of excess moisture and clogged drain lines include:

  • Water Blown by Internal Fans
    If excess water gets blown back onto the coils, it can begin to ice over. That’s why many AC units “freeze up” and stop cooling properly. Many people understand that it’s sometimes necessary to turn off a unit to melt excess ice on the coils. You can speed the process by using a hairdryer to melt the ice faster. You should never try to chip off the ice because this can damage the coils.
  • Unsealed Units
    Units that are improperly sealed–especially window units– can allow warm, humid air to infiltrate the home. This puts more stress on cooling units, and the warm air can cause condensation on the outside of the units, which drips onto floors.
  • Clogged Drain Lines
    Drain lines can get clogged from mold and algae growth, which dramatically affects AC performance. Clogged drains result in water overflowing the drain pans and damaging your home’s infrastructure and your AC system. Some systems have sensors that will turn off the systems when the AC drains get clogged. You can deal with a clogged drain by turning off the unit at the breaker and removing the condensation pan. If the pan is holding water, the drain is probably clogged. Dump the water, and clean and dry the pan. Use a shop vacuum to apply suction to the line to clear it. Once clear, pour distilled vinegar or hydrogen peroxide down the drain to dissolve any remaining growth.
  • Improper Sizing
    If your unit isn’t big enough to handle your cooling needs, it will likely produce excessive water. One solution might be to use a dehumidifier. Dehumidifying the home has the added advantage of allowing you to set your AC to a higher temperature and remain comfortable.
  • Water Damage

Water Damaged
Excess water can damage all parts of your AC system. You might require parts or system replacement if the excess water isn’t addressed for a long time. Water intrusion from AC units can also damage your home and decrease AC efficiency.

Florida’s Heat and Humidity

In Venice and the surrounding areas of Florida, hot and humid weather is a year-round concern. Winter is more likely to be hot than cold, so residents worry more about humidity and comfort than heat. AC bills are big concerns, and keeping track of the water drainage of your cooling system is one of the best ways to keep bills lower and prevent problems.

Water Intrusion in AC Systems

Water intrusion in AC systems in Florida is a major issue, so residents should keep track of how well their systems drain any excess water. The growth of mold and mildew in hot, humid weather is a constant problem, but you can check your drain lines regularly to keep them clear. The first step is getting familiar with your AC system and learning where your drain line is and where it drains.

You can monitor your air conditioner and make minor repairs, but if your quick fixes don’t work, you might need professional HVAC service. Experienced technicians have the answers and tools to make your life in Venice, Florida more comfortable. Regular repairs and maintenance save money over time and create a better quality-of-life for you and your family. Call or text us at (941) 203-7955 for more information.