The condensate drain is one part of the HVAC system that many homeowners don’t understand very well. It’s a good idea to get a basic idea of the function of these drains so that when something goes amiss with yours, you’re able to troubleshoot.
Just as the name implies, this drain is where the moisture that is extracted from your home’s air during the cooling process is drained away in the form of condensation. For this process to work correctly, the drain needs to be free of obstructions.
Mold in the Drain
Because the drain stays damp most of the summer, it can become a repository for mold, mildew and fungus. Other conditions can increase the likelihood of mold, including a dirty air filter or a malfunctioning blower.
You want to ensure that mold does not take hold in your drain, as mold spores — the means by which mold reproduces — can be distributed in your home’s air. Mold spores are detrimental to health, aggravating allergies and respiratory conditions.
Another cause of mold occurs when water doesn’t flow properly through the drain trap, a U-shaped bend in the drain that holds water and blocks sewer gases from entering the system. When water is blocked from entering the trap, it can dry out and allow these gases to enter the home.
Blocked drains are also a cause of leaking water and even flooding. Pooling of water near the air conditioner can be a sign of a blocked condensate drain. Serious flooding may also occur, resulting in major damage to the home.
To prevent leaks, flooding, mold and other issues, be sure your service technician examines the condensate drain during your annual HVAC maintenance. Sludge — a combination of condensation from your home’s air, as well as dirt and mold — can form a plug in the condensate drain and keep water from draining properly. The drain should be cleaned out. Leaking condensate pans should be replaced.
For more on keeping your condensate drain unblocked, contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors. Family owned and operated since 1948, we serve Monmouth and Ocean counties.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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