Many people don’t realize how much water damage a problem with an air conditioner can cause in your Illinois or Northwest Indiana home. Most of the time water leaks are related to the condensate line.
It’s all about the humidity
Not only does your A/C cool the house but it also removes moisture (humidity) from the air to make it comfortable. All that water has to go somewhere, and it is usually drained or pumped outside through the condensate line. There are various reasons why the condensate line can start leaking water:
- Clogged line
- This is the most frequent cause of water damage from an air conditioner. The clog can make the drain pan overflow. The damage can be especially severe if the unit is in the attic. The overflowing water can damage walls and ceilings before it’s discovered. The condensate drain lines can become clogged with dirt, algae, and other debris.
- Line is disconnected
- This can happen when A/C systems are improperly installed. If the drainpipe fittings (usually PVC) aren’t secure, they can loosen over time allowing the condensate to drain through the ceiling or onto the floor.
- Pump problems
- If the air handler is in the basement it may very well have a small electric pump to lift the water up and pump it outside. If the pump malfunctions or there’s an electrical problem, the water has nowhere to go and can flood the basement. The pump can also be clogged by the mold, dirt, and debris we mentioned earlier.
Regular HVAC maintenance is key
Our Merts technicians will always inspect the condensate system during our maintenance visits to look for any sign of water damage or potential problems that could cause leaks in the future. You can also do your part. It’s a good idea to pour some bleach water (50/50 mix) into the condensate pipe as often as every month. This is an easy way to flush away mold & mildew and is HVAC maintenance that can be easily performed by the homeowner.
Other causes for water leaks
While the condensate system is responsible for most water damage, it can also be a result of dirty or clogged air filters and/or low refrigerant levels. These problems cause your air conditioner to ice up which can create water leaks when it melts. A frozen A/C usually requires HVAC maintenance by a professional.
Quality & Honesty Since 1952
This is our motto at Merts Heating & Air Conditioning. If you have any more questions about how to prevent water damage from the A/C in your Illinois or Northwest Indiana home, be sure to give us a call. For more helpful HVAC information, be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.