The Atlanta area’s subtropical climate can be rough on air conditioning systems in a variety of ways. One problem that’s especially common is a clogged condensate drain. To avoid more serious issues, it’s important to recognize the signs that your condensate line may be obstructed.

Accumulating or Leaking Water

As your air conditioner cools the air in your home, it also lowers the humidity through condensation. This condensed water drips into your drain pan and flows through the condensate drain line, which safely carries it away. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. If the drain line becomes clogged by dirt or organic growth, you may notice water accumulating inside the pan. In some cases, the water may even spill out and cause visible staining or other damage.

Organic Growth or Musty Odors

When the weather is hot and humid, any standing water in your drain pan can potentially lead to organic growth. In fact, organic growth is a common cause of clogged drain lines. The first sign of a problem is often a dank, musty odor coming from your AC unit. You may also notice visible growth inside or around the drain pan. In some cases, the presence of organic growth may even trigger allergic reactions. To prevent such growth from returning, it’s important to make sure your drain line is clean and functioning properly.

Total System Shutdown

If a clogged drain isn’t addressed quickly, it can eventually cause your entire AC system to shut down. When too much water accumulates, it can overflow and cause damage, leading to major air conditioning repairs. To prevent this, most systems are equipped with a water safety switch that triggers when the water gets too high. Removing the water should restore power, but the problem will only continue until the drain has been cleaned.

A clogged condensate drain can be a frustrating and disruptive issue, but it’s also easy to prevent. To avoid this and other future problems, remember to schedule annual AC maintenance visits with the experts at Jones Climate Control.

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