The condensate drain pan is a major component in your home HVAC system. The condensate drain pan helps to protect your home against water damage and protects the central air conditioner and furnace from developing microorganisms such as mold and mildew. Because it helps protect your home and the HVAC system from damages and contaminants, it is important to know how it works and how to spot problem to prevent future damages from occurring. Ambient Heating & Air Conditioning will share how the condensate drain pan works and should be maintained.
How a Condensate Drain Pan Works
The purpose of the condensate drain pan is to collect water from the evaporator coils. Condensation occurs mostly during the summer months or when the air conditioner is running. The A shaped coils inside the air conditioning unit get very cold and will freeze the moisture around the coils. The warm air from inside the home pulls in the air, passes it through the air filter, and then sends it right to the center of the evaporator coils. This is when the heat transfer occurs and the heat and moisture is pulled from the air and back through the air ducts. As this process repeats, condensation occurs on the evaporator coils. The condensation builds up and the droplets will begin to run down the coils and fall right into the condensate drain pan. As the condensate drain pan fills, the water runs down a sewage drain.
Common Damages to the Condensate Drain Pan
One of the most common damages that occur to the condensate drain pan is rust. Most condensate drain pans are made of metal and as they are exposed to water, rust will begin to eat away the metal and create small holes. When this occurs, it is time to replace the pan. Most condensate drain pans are designed to last between 5 to 10 years with proper maintenance. However, sometimes the pan can overfill with water and the drain gets plugged. If dust or other forms of debris get inside the condensate drain pan and mixes with the water, it can create obstruction that prevents the water from flowing out of the pan.
Maintenance of the Condensate Drain Pan
It is recommended that you regularly check the condensate drain pan. About every three months the pan should be checked and cleaned. The drain should also be inspected for any possible obstructions or causes for future clogs. The drain should be cleaned with hot water and vinegar to ensure proper drainage. With regular inspection and maintenance, you can extend the condensate drain pan’s life to about 10 years. If its neglected most drain pans barely last five years. The pan and drain are easily cleaned and can be done by the homeowner. However don’t hesitate to contact a professional HVAC technician if you don’t have the time, ability or desire.
Air Conditioning Installation, Replacement & More in Springfield, Granby, Holyoke, South Hadley, Monson Chicopee & Agawam Massachusetts
It is recommended having your HVAC serviced and tuned up twice a year. Once in the spring and again in the fall. When an HVAC technician services your home’s HVAC system, they do check and clean the condensate drain pan. This leaves it up to the homeowner to do it twice a year in between services. However, in most cases, the condensate drain pan is fine until the professional HVAC technician comes again and maintains your entire system. For all of your HVAC repair and maintenance needs, contact Ambient Heating & Air Conditioning today.