My Condensate Line is Clogged – What are the Cleaning Options?

condensate lineAn air conditioner mainly serves two purposes; cooling down your indoor air and dehumidifying it. If your house is in a dry climatic zone, your AC does not need to dehumidify much because in doing so, it uses extra energy and makes the air even drier. On the other hand, if you live in a humid climate, dehumidification is an absolute must in order to keep your indoor air dry and comfortable. The dehumidification process collects the moisture and channels it through the condensate line. This is why it is important to understand the process and figure out how to clean your condensate line.

The Condensate Line

In many homes, the condensate gathered from dehumidification is channeled through a pump and drains out either by gravity or through the force of a small pump. Sometimes, the condensate line may get clogged due to a buildup of gunk. This affects the running of your AC because clogging of the condensate line impedes proper drainage.

The Cleaning Process

Cleaning a condensate line can be a bit tricky but with proper planning you can do it perfectly well. One of the ways to do this is to pump air pressure through the clogged line. First of all, close off every escape route with the exception of the one leading to the direction of the clog. Thereafter, pump positive pressure into the pipe near the indoor unit; this will blow out the clog. This process may not be feasible where your condensate line is connected to your neighbor’s AC.

Using a shop-vac, you can suck the clog out from the end of the pipe to unblock the condensate line. Using a duct tape, you can make an airtight connection between the condensate line and the vacuum hose. If the duct tape does not work, you can buy fittings from hardware to enable you get an airtight connection.

Why Clean Your Condensate Line

As stated above, a clogged condensate line impedes proper drainage making your AC inefficient in the dehumidification process. Also, such condensate lines provide a good breeding ground for algae. This may be unhealthy because with algae comes mold and bacteria which are allergens.

If you haven’t thought about cleaning your condensate line, chances are it is clogged to some degree. You have a number of options including contacting HVAC experts to conduct a thorough inspection and where necessary clean the line or  get a shop-vac and do the cleaning yourself. In case you want to use an algaecide, ensure it meets the industry standards. Your HVAC company can help you in this. Preventive maintenance is recommended because it can save you thousands of dollars in damage repairs.