Because air conditioning units don’t contain water, moisture damage may not be the first risk we think of when considering our A/C. That risk does exist, however, and if the system is on all or much of the time – such as between May and September in Indiana – the possibility for moisture damage increases.
Air conditioning systems create a lot of condensation. Window units typically vent that moisture directly outside, but central A/C units usually have the evaporator/air handler located in a closet or laundry room. This design must vent the water the evaporator creates through a dedicated drain line, or an emergency collection pan and a secondary drain pipe or system of pipes.
Any blockage in that drainage system can cause serious moisture damage. At best, wall coverings can become discolored; at worst ceilings can collapse and destroy everything beneath them. Even a partial blockage can cause ponding in the system, with stagnant water encouraging the growth of mold that can irritate allergy sufferers.
The first clue that a problem exists within the primary drain line is usually the appearance of an intermittent or continuous dripping from the emergency drain pipe; this is usually found high up on an outside wall. Moisture should not drip from this pipe, and only does so when the primary drain is obstructed. Take action as soon as you notice the dripping by shutting off the air conditioner and calling a service technician.
The technician can diagnose whether the problem is simply a blocked drain or something more serious, such as low refrigerant pressure, dirty coils or damaged electrical contacts. These problems can cause the coil to constantly freeze then defrost and refreeze again, creating excess condensation and all the problems that follow.
Contact Mowery Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing to schedule a routine maintenance visit that will check for all of these issues, including that the main drain is clear. Prevention is better than cure; ask us about installing a float valve in the emergency drain pan that can shut off the A/C if a blockage occurs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Mowery services the Brownsburg, Indiana and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!