AC Maintenance in Oak Harbor, WA

An AC unit works by absorbing the moisture and heat from the air in your home. The moisture from your home’s air condenses on the condenser coils and runs down into the drain pan before being expelled through the drain line. The tube leading from the drain pan to the outside of your home is called a “drain line.”

Most of the time, the drain line works great. However, because it is an enclosed, damp space, it’s an ideal breeding ground for mildew, mold, and sludge. Additionally, dirt and debris can get into the drain line and accumulate in it. If the drain line is not drained regularly, these items can clog it, allowing water to back up into the air conditioning unit and causing damage to the unit itself.

The most common signs of clogged drain lines are:

  • Dripping water
  • An always full condensate pan
  • Moldy and musty smell coming from the unit
  • Insufficient cooling
  • Water damage inside your unit

Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to unclog the drain line in your AC unit. The following easy steps will show you how.

1. Turn Off Your AC Unit

First things first, when working on your AC unit, it is essential to turn off the power to the unit. To prevent accidental electrical shocks, you need to disconnect the power source going to your unit at the breaker box.

2. Locate Your AC Drain Line

Now that your unit is off, you need to find the drain line in your unit. Usually, it is situated outside near your condenser unit. If you live in an apartment building, the drain line will be located in the cabinet housing your furnace. It is a PVC pipe that is typically gray, white, or black in color.

3. Locate the Drain Line’s Access Point

The access point will be a T-shaped vent with a cap or cover in most AC units. You can inspect the vent to see if it is clogged by removing the cap. You will not need any tools to remove the cap. Just use your hands to pull it off.

4. Remove Any Objects

Manually remove any objects or debris you find in the vent. Do so by wearing protective gloves. Ensure you do not push the blockage further into the vent. If the blockage is too far down the drain line, move on to step 5.

5. Pour in Vinegar

Pour one cup of distilled white vinegar into the drain line through the access point where you removed the cap. Allow the vinegar to sit for about 30 minutes to work its way through the drain line. For better results, leave the vinegar to stew for longer.

Vinegar has high acidity and will dissolve most blockages in your drain line. However, vinegar has a strong smell, and we recommend mixing it with warm water and soap to make it smell better.

6. Flush the Drain Line

After letting the vinegar sit for half an hour, flush it out using water and ensure the water is running through the drain line as it should. If the water does not seem to be draining correctly, the clog is too deep or extensive for a DIY solution. You will need to call a professional company offering air-conditioning services to unclog your AC unit’s drain line.

Additional Tips

When unclogging your AC drain line, never pour bleach or other household cleaners into your AC unit’s condensate drain line. This can damage your unit. We advise only using natural cleaners such as a solution of vinegar and distilled water or those specifically made for cleaning condensate drain lines.

Your Professional Air Conditioning Service

Unclogging your AC unit’s drain lines is easy and can be done by anyone. However, if you have tried unclogging your drain line and the problem persists, it is time to contact a professional air conditioning service.

In Oak Harbor, Coupeville, Anacortes, and the surrounding areas throughout Washington, you can rely on Island Heating & Air Conditioning, a BBB-accredited company with an A+ rating. Our company provides a wide range of heating and air conditioning services, including AC drain line cleaning and heating and cooling repair, replacement, and maintenance. You can also turn to us for indoor air quality solutions. Call us today to set up an appointment or learn more about our services.



May 20, 2022 5:15 pm