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How to Clean an AC Drain Line

Nothing feels better than a blast of cool air on a hot summer day, so keeping your air conditioner in good condition is an important part of home maintenance. Knowing how to clear a clogged AC drain line is a critical component to ensuring your unit works when you need it.

If your AC drain line keeps clogging, it's possible to take care of this simple task on your own. All you need is a little knowledge of what the drain line does and how to keep it clear:

Learn more about how to tell when your AC drain line is clogged, what to do to fix the issue, and routine maintenance your AC unit needs to function well.

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If you'd rather have the professionals handle your routine AC maintenance and repairs, the experts at Advantage Air Mechanical have over 30 years of experience with every make and model unit. We offer fast and convenient scheduling and our AC Maintenance Plan will cover all your needs.

The Role of Your AC Drain Line

Your AC unit spends its day cooling the warm air in your home, which can lead to a high amount of condensation. If left to sit inside your unit, it can damage your air conditioner and add moisture to the air being blown into the room, increasing the humidity levels in your house. High humidity can lead to a number of harmful issues, such as mold growth, corrosion to electronics, and damage to wood elements within your home. To resolve this issue, your AC drain line allows any liquid within the unit to drain out. This keeps moisture levels within your air conditioner low, making it a crucial system component.

Clogged AC drain line symptoms include standing water near your indoor AC unit, a musty or moldy smell from the unit or your vents, or any signs of water damage nearby. Inefficient cooling or your system shutting down could also be caused by a drain line with blockage. Fortunately, you can easily fix a clogged AC drain line yourself.

How to Clean Your AC Drain Line

The first step to cleaning your AC drain line is to turn off the unit for safety purposes. Once it's shut down, locate your AC drain line by looking it up in the manual that came with your air conditioner or checking around the outside of the indoor unit. Depending on the model of your air conditioner and the installation method, the drain line could be made of PVC pipe or some type of hose. Once you've identified it, identify the access point where the water enters the drain line and disconnect it.

To clean out your drain line, white distilled vinegar is often the preferred method used to flush the line due to its ability to kill mold and bacteria. Let the vinegar sit within the drain line for up to 30 minutes to break down any build-up inside before flushing it thoroughly with warm water. If there is still a blockage and you can access a shop vacuum, suction at the other end can handle more stubborn clogs. Then, continue to flush the line. Once the water flows clearly and freely out the other end, reconnect the drain line and start your air conditioner again.

Maintenance Tips

Checking your AC drain line should be a regular preventative maintenance routine. For optimal performance, the drain line should be cleaned once per month, especially if you live in a home with pets. Pet hair sucked into the system is a common cause of drain line clogs. Remember to clear out any moisture in the drain pan so you'll notice easily if the moisture level in the pan changes due to a future drain line issue. This is also a great time to change your air filters so you can knock out two maintenance tasks at once.

Make sure to check for any signs of leaks or corrosion on your unit while addressing the drain line and filters, and schedule repairs immediately if you see any signs of a problem. Addressing repairs quickly is the best way to extend the life of your air conditioner and get the most out of your investment.

Do you need an AC repair? Call Advantage Air Mechanical!

If you're noticing signs that your AC unit is malfunctioning, contact the trusted experts at Advantage Air Mechanical to schedule repairs. We offer fair and honest prices and we don't pay commissions to our technicians, so you always know you're getting only the repairs or maintenance you need.