Your air conditioner helps get rid of excess moisture in your home’s air. You may have thought that this moisture, in the form of condensation from the evaporator coils, goes out of the house through your home’s modern plumbing system. If you have a newer home, the condensation may indeed drain through a pipe under the bathroom sink.

Condensate Drains

More often, however, the condensation from the evaporator coils of the HVAC system drains away into a condensate drain, which is located inside the cabinet where your air conditioner’s indoor section is installed. When the collection pan and drain are clear, the moisture will run out easily to the exterior of your home, usually near the outdoor condenser unit. Sometimes, however, a clog occurs and the drain will need to be washed out. An HVAC technician will pour bleach and water through the line until it becomes clear. In fact, most technicians do this during the annual service visit.

So is your HVAC system going to be affected when your plumbing gets clogged? It might be, if condensation is routed through the plumbing. It’s possible your condensation might not drain away as it should. Clearing the clog may require a plumber rather than an HVAC tech.

Regardless of the cause, a clogged condensation pan or drain can result in excess humidity, leading to mold and mildew. The excess moisture could also cause flooding, which in turn could damage flooring and drywall. Having your HVAC tech check the condensate line during maintenance will help prevent clogged lines.

Dehumidifiers and Humidifiers

Dehumidifiers may also be involved in the workings of the condensate drain. They pull in moist air, and like the regular air conditioner, they take out moisture when it condenses, then send it down the condensate drain. Again, it’s important that the condensate drain stays open for these to work properly.

Humidifiers draw from your home’s water supply, distributing moisture to the home’s air by means of a humidifier pad, rotating drum, or steaming system. These lines should be inspected periodically as well.

For more on modern plumbing and your HVAC system, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.