Keeping Your HVAC System Free and ClearKeeping Your HVAC System Free and Clear


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Keeping Your HVAC System Free and Clear

After our heater stopped working altogether last winter, we realized that it might be time to consult with a professional. We called a family friend who is also an HVAC contractor and he came out right away to see what he could do. After taking a look at things, he told us that our vents were almost completely blocked with dust and dirt. He recommended a vent cleaning company to come out and help, and they removed loads of debris the next day with specialized suction tools. After that, our HVAC system ran almost perfectly. This blog is all about the importance of keeping your HVAC system free, clear, and functional.

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A standard central air conditioning unit has two main components — the exterior unit and the interior air handler. The air handler is equipped with a condensate pan, which is designed to catch the condensation that drains from the unit so that water damage doesn't affect your home. Sometimes, though , problems can lead to issues with this system.

Overflowing Drain Pan

Condensation that drips into the drain pan should be funneled to the drain and out of your home. Sometimes, though, the water won't drain and instead the pan overflows. If this happens often, water damage is a real risk. The cause is typically a clogged drain. Mold and algae may grow in the drain, eventually blocking it. A repair tech will clean out the drain and then use a bleach-based cleaner to kill any mold or algae spores that remain.

Damaged Drain Pan

Drain pans are durable, but they can become damaged as they age. Rust or corrosion can lead to leaks, or damage may occur that leaves the drain pan cracked. When this happens, water will leak out and collect around your air handler. There should never be any moisture around the unit that isn't confined to the pan. If you do find moisture on the floor, it's time to have the drain pan inspected and possibly replaced. 

Broken Drain Line

Although drain pans do sometimes break, it's actually more likely that the drain line has broken. This issue will also result in water leaking around the air handler instead of staying within the drain pan. Most drain lines are made of flexible piping, so creases and cracks can easily occur if the piping gets bent the wrong way. Fortunately, drain lines are simple and inexpensive to replace. 

Drain Line Clogs

Clogs within the drain line itself can cause the pan to overflow, similar to when the drain itself is clogged. Once again, mold and algae are the most common culprits, but sometimes mice or insects may nest inside the line and cause a blockage. Cleaning out the line or replacing it with a new line solves the problem. 

System Shutdowns

Modern AC units often have a sensor inside the condensate pan. If the moisture builds up to the point of overflowing, then the system will shut down in order to prevent water damage. If your AC shuts down unexpectedly, check the condensate pan to see if there is standing water inside of it. 

If you suspect that something is affecting the condensate system, contact an AC repair service like Bud's Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning & Electric promptly so you can have the problem fixed before damage occurs.