According to one study, 87% of Americans use air conditioning.
If you’re one of those Americans, you probably know just how important your AC is, and how terrible it is when it breaks.
Sometimes the issue can be with the HVAC condensate drain. But what are some common problems that can happen and how do you fix them? Keep reading to find out!
What is a Condenser Unit?
The HVAC system condenser unit is inside the unit outside of your home that looks like an outdoor cabinet.
Inside of it, there is a condenser fan and coils. The point of this box is to release heat that the refrigerant makes after the compressor pressurizes it.
The condenser comes in in the middle of the process, so if something goes wrong with it, your AC might not be working properly.
Unfortunately, there are many things that can go wrong with the HVAC condenser since it is outside.
To try and prevent anything from damaging it, start by making sure that it has enough room to breathe and work. Get rid of any trees, plants, or other obstructions that could block the airflow and make it difficult for the condenser to work.
Clean Out Debris
If there is debris near your condenser, make sure you clear it out. You might find things like sticks, gravel, dirt, dust, or leaves. You should make sure that you clean it out at least once a month.
If anything damaging gets inside, it could ruin the fan belts, blades, motors, or capacitors and cause major problems.
Even if you do clear the debris away, the coils will get dirty eventually. The unit can have dirt built up on it on the inside and the outside.
Once dirt starts building up on the condenser coils, it’s harder for heat to transfer back outside of the unit. When this happens, the warm air will go inside your home instead.
In addition to dirt, you could have algae or mold growing on your drainage system. These organisms need moisture and warmth to survive, and the drain provides the perfect environment for that.
If you don’t treat it, this algae and mold can build up enough to block the drain and cause condensate to back up and even flood your home.
It can also creep into your home’s air quality and leave you breathing in harmful things. If you want to stop this from growing, get a collector pan and clean it out after you flush out the drain.
Sometimes the fins that spin on the condenser can get bent if something comes into contact with them. While one bent fin is bad, if multiple are bent, it could even block air from going in and out of the unit.
You might also have problems with the fan itself. You could have motor issues or a capacitor that blew. If your fan isn’t working properly, your home’s AC will just keep running without cooling your home.
Refrigerant is what goes into the AC to help cool the air that goes into your home. However, this refrigerant can leak over time.
When you have a leak, your system will have to work harder to try and cool your home. Eventually, the leak might be so bad that it doesn’t cool your home at all.
If the pressure in the condenser unit is off, it could fail. You should check your user’s manual to see if you can find what the proper pressure should be.
If your AC unit is not staying at the level that the manual recommends, you should call a technician.
How to Fix It
Now that you know some of the common problems to watch out for, you’ll have to figure out how to fix them.
Some things you can do on your own, like doing routine maintenance checks or cleanings. To start with, always make sure you turn off the power supply to the AC so you don’t get hurt.
Once you’ve turned it off, check the unit for any leaks or drainage problems. If you notice the lines are leaking, you might have to replace faulty parts or pipes.
If that’s the case, remove any standing water and use a wet-dry vacuum to dry it off.
After that, take a rag and wipe away any dirt or dust that has fallen inside or outside of the unit.
If you notice mold, you can use some bleach and put it into your water line. This will kill all the mold that might be clogging anything.
If you notice that it’s still clogged, take off the PVC cap to the drain pipe. Get a wire brush, and try and clean in there and remove anything that is stuck.
If you inspected the AC unit and still aren’t sure what’s wrong with it, you should try calling an experienced technician to come and fix it.
Learn More About How to Deal with HVAC Condensate Drain Issues
These are only a few of the common HVAC condensate drain issues you could have, but there are many more problems that could arise.
We know that dealing with issues around the home can be tiring, but we’re here to help you out.
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