How to Minimize the Chance of Water Damage from Your A/C System

by Grace Motley

It doesn't take much water in your home to cause extremely serious and costly damage to your walls, floors, and even your foundation. While you might expect this kind of damage to be caused by flooding or a leaking pipe inside your home, you could face similar problems if your A/C system is not draining the water it produces from your home. If you want to prevent this from happening, there are several things you can do.

The Installation Process

Perhaps the most important factor in ensuring that your A/C system doesn't leak condensate inside your home is to ensure that the unit is properly installed to begin with. There are several points to consider:

  • The Slope of the Line: Make absolutely sure that any drain lines from your A/C system run downward from the point where they exit the unit. Otherwise, the water your system produces as condensate will not drain properly from your home.
  • Window Mounted A/Cs: If your A/C is a window mounted unit, it's very important to make sure it tilts back slightly. This will allow the condensate to drain out of the holes at the back of the condensate pan. Remember, if this liquid isn't flowing out, it's flowing in.

Scheduled Maintenance

You see some benefits when you have a maintenance arrangement set up through a local HVAC contractor. One of these benefits is that it will help you keep your A/C system from pouring water into your home and causing damage. Other things that the contractor can do to help with this problem include:

  • Drain Inspections: The contractor can examine the drains to make sure they're working properly and not blocked.
  • Cleaning the Coils: The technician can also clean your A/C's condenser coils. Dirty condenser coils can make drainage problems worse.
  • Refrigerant Pressure: If your A/C system is operating with low levels of refrigerant, this can also cause moisture problems, so the contractor will check this as well.
  • Adding Algaecide: This is a chemical that the contractor can pour into the drain lines to eliminate any algae that might have built up, blocking the lines.
  • Emergency Shutoff: One feature you will definitely want your contractor to add to your system is an emergency shutoff switch. This device will automatically turn off the A/C unit if the water in the drain pan gets too high.

The cost of water damage in your home can be enormous. In addition, it can encourage the growth of mold and other organisms that can threaten your family's health. This is why it's so important to ensure that your A/C system drains properly out of your home.