What is an AC Drain Line and How Does it impact AC Repair?

Regular maintenance is essential for keeping your AC drain line – and the rest of your AC system – in great shape. Otherwise, you could end up with a steep air conditioning repair bill. But you’re probably wondering “what the heck is an AC drain line?” Read on and we’ll explain what it is and how this crucial component keeps your air conditioner from being waterlogged.

Wait…What Is Condensate?

It’s hard to believe that your air conditioner makes water, but it does…in a way. To understand further, we’ll need to talk about dew point temperatures. In a nutshell, the dew point is the temperature the air must reach to achieve 100-percent relative humidity. Below this point, the water in the air “condenses” or turns from a vapor into a liquid.

As your air conditioner removes heat from the air it comes in contact with, the resulting temperature drop also brings the air below its dew point. Contact between the warm air and the cold surface of the evaporator coil inside the unit causes condensation.

Why Your AC Needs a Drain Line

Your AC system has a drain pan placed underneath the evaporator coil. This pan catches the condensate as it falls, but it can only hold so much. Water can overflow out of an overfilled drain pan, which can cause an assortment of air conditioning repair headaches.

Under normal operation, most AC units produce anywhere from 5 to 20 gallons of condensate a day. All of that water has to go somewhere, preferably away from your air conditioner. That’s where the drain line comes into the picture.

How Your AC Drain Line Works

Your AC drain line is a long, hollow tube that channels condensate out of the drain pan. Most drain lines lead to a nearby drain inside the home or through the exterior wall to the outdoors. Either way, this tube gets rid of the water that’d otherwise build up inside your AC system.

Issues You Could Run Into

Any water that gets trapped inside your AC has the potential to cause major air conditioning repair issues:

  • Stagnant water can turn into a breeding ground for mold, mildew and bacteria, resulting in musty odors and further damage.
  • Water can spill out of the AC system, resulting in various leaks as well as puddles nearby.
  • Spilled water can also cause water damage near or around the AC unit.
  • Flooded AC systems can shut down or not turn on at all.
  • Your AC system won’t be able to run as efficiently or cool as effectively.

The above can happen if the drain line is clogged, damaged, disconnected or otherwise compromised. A clogged drain line can also make other air conditioning repair tasks harder due to the presence of water in the unit.

We’ll Take Care of Your AC

Routine air conditioning maintenance can help keep clogs and other AC drain line issues at bay. Meanwhile, the best way to deal with any AC drain line issue is to call the AC repair specialists. Our experts will check your air conditioner, clear out the drain line if needed and make sure your system is ready to cool your Sarasota home. Call us today at 941-371-3355 or contact us online to learn more.

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