Air Conditioning: Avoiding Water Problems When Cooling is a Must
Air conditioning involves more than cooling. Relative humidity in the Cleveland area can run in the high 80s and even the low 90s in the summer, so keeping your home comfortable means humidity reduction, too. Your central air conditioner gets this done by removing gallons of moisture from the air—via the indoor cooling coil—every day. All that water’s got to go somewhere, and you hope it’s down the condensate drain line. Otherwise, you have an overflow. Because the evaporator coil in the air handler is usually out of sight, major water damage can occur before you become aware of it.
The best overflow measure is prevention. Here are some tips to stop water damage before it happens:
- Schedule an annual air conditioning inspection with your HVAC contractor. A typical examination includes checking the condensate drip pan under the indoor cooling coil for leaks and mold/debris and verifying that both the primary and the back-up (if present) drain lines are open and functioning. If there’s evidence of problems in the drip pan or drain line, he’ll clean the system. The technician will also inspect the evaporator coil for accumulation of dirt and may suggest treating the coil to prevent reoccurrence.
- Change your A/C filter regularly. A clogged filter restricts airflow, making the system run longer and harder and producing excessive condensate. Some budget air filters don't do a good enough job filtering out debris and it passes through the filter and ends up clogging in the cooling coil. This accumulated debris ultimately becomes a clog that can create an overflow.
- Consider having a safety float switch installed in the condensate drip pan or condensate trap. The float switch senses a high level of water and cuts off power to the A/C before an overflow occurs. As the house warms, this lets you know that you need to call your HVAC contractor.
- Some systems have a backup drain installed that takes over when the primary drain becomes clogged. Be alert to warning signs such as water running out of the backup drain line, indicating that the primary line is clogged. Turn off the unit and call an HVAC technician immediately.
P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling has been your Cleveland area source for summer comfort since 1936. Contact us for all your air conditioning needs.
Paul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.