How To Clean Your AC Drain Line

Posted by Phil Lambert on

How To Clean Your AC Drain Line

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If you want to keep your heating and cooling system running efficiently in every season, you should remember cleaning your AC drain line. Oftentimes, this is the part that is usually overlooked.

Also known as the condensation drain, this is the small dripping line outside your air conditioning unit. This part plays an important role in getting rid of the condensation that is being produced by the evaporator coil of your AC unit. If you fail to clean this, mold and algae will accumulate and grow inside. That can clog the drain. Once it is clogged, it will compromise the performance of your AC unit. It will result in a higher level of humidity and musty odor. It can even cause water to come into your home.

Do not forget to check this part of the AC. In case you find it to be dirty, you can follow these steps to remove the clogs.

  • Make sure your AC unit is turned off. Check the breaker to ensure that it is really off.
  • Look for the condensation pan directly under the unit. This is usually in the indoor air handler in the attic or the utility closet. If this pan has stagnant water in it, that is a sign that the AC drain line is clogged.
  • Use a shopvac to get rid of the moisture. Rags can also be used to remove the water.
  • Clean the drain pan using soap.
  • Look for the access point of the drain line. Most AC drain lines have a T-shaped vent. It has a PVC cover that you can remove so you can look inside the drain.
  • Use the shopvac to suction the clog from the drain. This is usually found outside the house and near the foundation. You should be able to see the clog when you look in the shopvac canister.
  • Get some distilled vinegar and pour it down the drain. You can alternate warm liquid with dishwashing liquid to remove the remaining debris. Let the solution stay for 30 minutes.
  • Flush the solution with water to completely clean the drain line. Ask someone to go the other end of the drain line to see if the water runs freely. That means the condensation drain is now clean.

In case it is hard for you to clean the AC drain line, get the help of a professional. The next time that you have your AC unit cleaned by a professional, make sure you remind them to clean the drain line. That way, your unit will always run efficiently.


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