If you’ve ever had your AC leaking or breaking down, you know how important it is to have a clean air conditioning unit. Take the advice of the HVAC pros at Performance Air Conditioning, and let us show you how to clean ac drain line systems.
Cleaning an AC drain pipe with vinegar
Have you ever used vinegar to clean your AC’s drain line? Your air conditioner cools your home, but it also dehumidifies the air. You might wonder, where does all that extra moisture go?
Your air conditioning system and parts of your plumbing systems have condensate drain lines that remove excess moisture. When it’s working properly, the condensate ac drain pipe will channel fluid from the air inside your home to the outside where it belongs. However, sometimes the AC drain line gets dirty and needs cleaning. Luckily, cleaning the AC drain pipe is easy and all you need is something you probably already have: vinegar.
How to tell if you have a clogged AC drain line
Here are some signs you have a clogged AC drain line:
- AC leaking water
- Water in AC pan
- Mold and musty smells
- Reduced cooling efficiency
- Unusual sounds
A clogged air conditioning drain line can lead to issues with your AC system and even water damage in your home. If you see any of these signs, you should definitely check your ac drain line.
How to Unclog AC Drain Line Systems With Vinegar
If your AC drain line is completely clogged, you should first clear it. While it is not difficult to remove a blockage in your unit’s condensate drain and tray, it does take a couple of steps.
Many condensate line cleaning guides will tell you to mix bleach or other household cleaners to help clear it but you should absolutely avoid doing it if possible as it could damage your system and potentially be harmful to your health. Instead, follow these instructions:
- Turn off the air conditioner to avoid electrical shock or damage.
- Locate the drain pipe. Look for a PVC pipe, often located outside when the AC condenser unit is. It could also be in the pantry or in the basement.
- Remove the drain line plug.
- Remove any debris using either a shop vacuum, wet vac, garden hose, or a plumbers snake for the best results. Be careful not to push it further in.
- Clean the AC line by pouring 1 cup of vinegar into the pipe
Now that you’re done cleaning AC drain lines, you can simply replace the drain cap and turn your AC back on after half an hour or so.
How to Clean the AC Drain Line with Vinegar
Even if your condensate line is blocked, fixing the problem is easy. All you need are a few extra minutes, a little elbow grease, and some distilled vinegar.
1. Locate the drain line
To check for any issues with your condensate drain, you first need to find it. The condensate drain is the white, plastic PVC pipe located outside your home near the compressor. Once you find the condensate drain, if no water is dripping from it, the drain might be clogged and you will need to clean the AC line.
2. Pour the vinegar into the drain line
Remove the drain line plug (the cover of the drain line) and pour in ¼ cup of distilled vinegar. The acidity in vinegar kills algae and bacteria, but keep in mind that it may take a few hours to remove the clog if it is severe.
3. Repeat until clear
Repeat the process until the drain is clear.
4. Check once a month
Check and clean the AC drain line once a month to keep your condensate line free of algae buildup.
Get A Professional AC Tune Up
If you want a clean AC drain line without having to call a local HVAC contractor, vinegar is definitely the way to go. It might take some time depending on the severity of the clog but it is a technique that works.