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How to clean the AC drain line

Have you ever noticed water dripping out of your air conditioning unit? Or perhaps a water mark resembling a pipe on your ceiling? You might want to check your air conditioning unit. That dripping water or the water mark might be signs that your AC drain line is clogged.


What causes a drain line to clog?


The condensate drain line is responsible for eliminating the evaporator coil’s condensation inside the air conditioning unit. With the constant use of the air conditioning unit, mold and algae thrive in your drain line because they like moist surfaces. Aside from mold and algae, particles like mildew, bacteria, fungus, and even small plants can live as well.
If these living organisms build up, they create a clog, making the water go back up into the drain line. It is a well-known fact that cleaning your AC can cost you a couple of bucks. However, you might not want to do it yourself because you can injure the unit, leading to further damage. Don’t worry, follow the six listed steps to learn how to clean the AC drain line to ensure functionality of your HVAC system.

Step 1: Turn off your air conditioner. Turn off the system at the thermostat and the power source as well.

Step 2: Find the condensate drain line. Mostly, the drain line is located outside the house or near your outdoor unit. It’s a pipe that is attached to the wall of your house.

Step 3: Locate the access point on the drain. Drain lines are mostly a T-shaped vent tee with a cap. Gently remove the cap at the top of the drain and look for the blockage.

Step 4: Flush with distilled vinegar. Vinegar is a strong acid with a pH level of 2.5 and is proved to have cleaning properties. Add ¼ cup of vinegar to the drain line through which the cap is removed. If the vinegar has a stench, you can use hot water or hydrogen peroxide with a dash of dishwashing liquid.

Step 5: Let it sit for about 30 minutes. The duration will help in dissolving residues that are inside the pipe. After 30 minutes, flush the pipe with clean water. Make sure everything is flowing and operating.

Step 6: Repeat each month. To be sure that your unit is well functioning, repeat this procedure every month to prevent bacteria build up and keep your system operating smoothly.


Now that these steps have been laid out to you, it would now be easier to clean it without spending so much. Please remember that having an improper cleaning way can cause serious issues to your unit; elevated humidity and unfriendly odors are just two of them. Moreover, it would be best to contact your AC cleaning and maintenance services if there is no change even after cleaning.
Taking care of appliances like the air conditioning unit can be quite a hefty task. But remember, the reward of cleaning them is a guaranteed service.

ECM Air Conditioning, with its headquarters located in Boynton Beach, FL, provides air conditioning services within Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County. If you’re having issues with your HVAC system, we’re on-call and ready to assist you with your air conditioning needs. So if you’re in need of an HVAC Contractor, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an air conditioning service call diagnostic! Our HVAC experts will diagnose any issues that may be occurring with your HVAC system and help to repair your AC issue on the spot.


Best of all because ECM is the largest HVAC company in South Florida our local warehouse facility that is 69,000 SQFT houses over $1 million in inventory and fully stocks our 127 vehicles on the road, making us one of the very few AC service companies capable of repairing most issues right on the spot. That means no waiting and no downtime without air conditioning for you & your family in the blistering Florida heat!



Call us at 561-295-1763 or contact our HVAC team online.

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