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Dulley's Money-Saving Tip #1025

Clean out a/c condensate drain

(related Dulley column topic links - 763, 647, 921)

It is important to check the condition of the condensate drain pipe leading from your central air conditioner. First check to make sure that water runs out of it when the central air conditioner is running. If water does not come out, have it checked by a serviceman. Either the pipe (or tube) is clogged or the pan under the evaporator coils is rusted and leaky.

In either case, the moisture that is condensed out of the air is just going back into your room air again. This creates a cool muggy feeling in the house and it may exacerbate allergies.

If water is coming out, make sure that the pipe empties out very near the drain in the floor. I have seen short pipes that allow the water to trickle several feet before it reaches the drain. This is not good because much of the water just ends up evaporating back into the air before it reaches the drain. Lengthen the pipe with a piece of hose. This condensate is just pure distilled water and is not acidic like the condensate from a high-efficiency gas furnace.


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