Has this ever happened to you? You're walking along inside your home and suddenly realize you're in a puddle of water and don't know where it came from? We may have the answer.
If water is pooling inside your home near your air conditioner's indoor unit, you may have clogged condensation lines. Part of the function your air conditioner performs is to remove humidity from the air inside your home. It pulls the hot, humid air through the return air grille and over the inside unit's evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is commonly referred to as an "A" coil. (We discussed this a little bit last week.) The A-coil has refrigerant in it which is very cold and the moisture collects on it just as it would a cold glass of iced tea on a hot summer day. This moisture has to go somewhere, that's why you have a drip pan underneath it to collect the water. It's connected to condensation lines (usually PVC) that carry the water outside. The problem occurs when these lines get clogged.
Gravity helps the water draw away from your indoor unit, but when things get into the lines, gravity alone won't be able to help much. There are a number of things that may clog up the lines. On the inside portion, things like lint, mold, dirt, hair--even insects--may be the culprit. On the outside, it may be lawnmower debris, wasps, or any number of things that get the outlet clogged preventing the free flow of water. What to do? Don't panic!
If you do have water puddling from your indoor AC unit, turn the unit off immediately and give us a call. If the problem is a dirty evaporator coil, you'll need a professional to clean it. If it's just some debris blocking the exit on the outdoor end, you may be able to handle that just fine without us. A shop vac can help suck up the water that leaked indoors and may even work to suck out any easily reached obstruction on the indoor side of the condensation lines. If a rusty drain pan is the culprit, you'll need us. Dirty filters, rusty drain pans, float switches that malfunction, A-coils that freeze up...the list goes on.
Even though these things can happen to any AC unit, it's much less likely if you keep your filter changed regularly and have your unit checked at least once a year by a certified HVAC technician. That way you can make sure the coil is properly cleaned and serviced (we do NOT recommend you do this part yourself) and any little "bugs" can be caught and corrected before they cause any damage.
Air Care Systems by Price, Inc. is always happy to answer your questions about maintaining a healthy air system. Give us a call at (479) 777-2331 and we'll try to make the heat just a little more bearable this summer.