Cleaning the A/C Condensate Drain in 5 Simple Steps

If cleaning the A/C condensate drain isn’t a part of your home maintenance routine, you may start to notice musty odors and high humidity issues. If algae or mold growth goes unchecked and blocks the drain line, a condensate backup can also cause serious water damage. Many homeowners have their HVAC professional take care of this critical maintenance, but you can also tackle the job yourself in just five simple steps.

A/C Condensate Drain Cleaning 101

You only need a few basic tools to clean the drain: a wet/dry vacuum, plain household vinegar, a funnel for pouring and some cleaning rags. Once you’ve gathered these items, follow these steps.

  • To ensure your safety, shut down the air conditioner via the thermostat and the circuit breaker.
  • At the indoor air handler, remove the access panel if necessary and locate the condensate collector pan underneath the evaporator coil. If you find water in the pan, it’s a good indicator there are blockages in the drain lines. Empty out the pan and scrub it clean with soap and fresh water.
  • Take the wet/dry vacuum and go outdoors to the drainage end of condensate line. You’ll probably find it extruding through the exterior wall either beside or behind the condenser/compressor unit.
  • Take the drain cover off and place the end of the vacuum hose over the end of the line. Turn the vacuum on and leave it running for at least a couple of minutes. Shut it off and open the canister to make sure the blockage was suctioned out then replace the drain line cover.
  • Head back indoors, find the drain line access outlet by the air handler and take off the cover. Place the funnel in the drain opening and pour approximately one cup of vinegar into the line. After 30 minutes, thoroughly flush the line with clean water. To make sure the condensate can now drain freely, have another person check for water flow outdoors as you’re flushing the line.
  • For more expert advice about cleaning the A/C condensate drain in your San Antonio home, contact Beyer Boys today.

    Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

    Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Boobl/Shutterstock”

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