The Problem With a Clogged Condensate Drain

The Problem With a Clogged Condensate Drain


Humidity is produced whenever air is cooled inside an AC unit. As part of the cooling process, your air conditioner also removes moisture from the air so that there is less humidity in your house. Drier air naturally feels cooler, so this helps your home feel more comfortable. The moisture that gets removed is drained out through the condensate drain line.

If there’s a clog in this line, excess moisture may remain in your home instead of being released outside. When this happens, you need to give us a call for AC repair in Newark, OH. Keep reading to learn more about what causes condensate drain clogs and how you can prevent them.

How Clogs Happen

When your air conditioner removes moisture from the air, that moisture gets channeled into the condensate drain line where it gathers as droplets of water. The condensate drain line connects to the outdoor portion of your unit where heat and moisture drain out to be released outside of your home.

The problem is that dust and dirt can get trapped along with this moisture and also make their way through your condensate drain line, sometimes sticking to the sides of the pipe to cause clogs. The pipe is also a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Since the condensate drain line is narrow, it can get clogged and cause a blockage that prevents water from draining out of the system effectively.


When water begins to back up behind a clog, it can leak out of the condensate drain line. The good news is that your AC also has a drip pan designed to catch any leaks. However, you still want to get leaks addressed instead of ignoring them and hoping things get better. Clogs can get worse quickly, and if the pan overflows it can cause water damage to the surrounding areas of your home.

Increased Humidity

And even if the water doesn’t leak out, it can still evaporate back into the air after being trapped in the line, leading to higher humidity levels. Your home may begin to feel muggy and hot, despite your air conditioner running to keep temperatures cool. Dry air naturally feels cooler, so added humidity can make the air feel warmer than it really is.

Preventing Clogs

There are a couple of steps that you can take as a homeowner to prevent condensate drain clogs from happening again in the future. The first is to change out your air filter on time every 1-3 months. When you do this, you prevent dust and dirt from making their way through a clogged filter and getting into your AC and ultimately the condensate drain line.

You can also pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into the condensate drain line to clear it out when you change the air filter. You can identify the pipe by looking at the indoor portion of your unit and taking the cap off of the pipe that extends up by your indoor cabinet. Simply screw the cap off, pour some vinegar in, and put the cap back on again. This helps to rinse out dust, dirt, and mold spores so they don’t develop into a clog.

The service guys in the purple trucks are ready to help! Reach out today to schedule your appointment for AC service today!

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