Outside temperatures are soaring, HVAC air conditioning systems are running constantly as a result. When the hot air of your house gets sucked into your HVAC system return and travels past the coiling coil the result will be an accumulation of water / moisture at the coil location. Your HVAC air handler / blower will collect the condensation water & direct it through a pipe away from the unit. If your blower is in your attic, this condensation line will be pitched toward your gutter where gravity can allow the drainage water to easily drain down to the ground below. Homes that have air handlers in a basement will often have no available way to gravity drain this condensation water to the exterior, in these situations the water is gravity drained to an electrically fed condensation pump. The condensation pump will have the ability to pump the water vertically into a higher internal sewer line or possibly out the exterior via a pipe drilled through the foundation.
Most HVAC systems will not only have this primary condensation drain but will also have a secondary condensation pan (a.k.a. drip pan) below the condensation coil. This pan can collect quite a bit of water if the primary drain is not draining sufficiently. Typically, this secondary drain would get directed to the same gutter location but instead of dumping water into the gutter the installers direct this water over the gutter so homeowners can be alerted to act immediately if they ever see water dripping from this secondary condensation drain. Water exiting this secondary drain means that the primary drain is not functioning properly. There may also be a “high water” shutoff switch within the drip pan to act as a unit “cut-off” switch which would stop the unit from working. The triggering of this switch means that the primary & secondary drain both are likely clogged, and the drip pan is becoming very full.
Once your HVAC system condensation system stops draining away water as designed you can be faced with a substantial internal water condition equivalent to leaving a water faucet turned on. The amount of internal water damage to ceilings, walls, floors can be extensive and very costly to cleanup & repair. If this leak occurs when you are at work, or even worse, while on vacation, the ensuing damages can be catastrophic especially with the specter of advanced microbial growth in higher temperature locations like attics, closets and other non-cooled areas of your dwelling.
It’s HVAC leak season, be sure to have regular servicing of your HVAC system
It’s HVAC leak season, best to take a preventative approach by having your air handler condensation lines cleaned prior to turning on your air conditioning units. Regular servicing of your HVAC system should be done with yearly cleaning & maintenance. During this maintenance process the filters would get replaced, the coil would get cleaned and most importantly the condensation line that directs the water away from the air handler would be flushed / cleaned. For those who have sustained internal damage from an HVAC leak or overflow of the drip pan, we recommend you have a water damage cleanup contractor come do an emergency cleanup & dehumidification of the affected areas to prevent the rapid onslaught of dangerous mold growth.
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The True Restorations Team