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Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units can potentially cause extensive water damage if they’re not properly maintained. Some common causes of HVAC water damage include clogged drains, frozen evaporator coils, and incorrectly connected pipes. You must care for your HVAC system at least once yearly. This care will help prolong the life of your unit and prevent potential heating or cooling expenses down the line. HVAC maintenance tasks are relatively easy and usually don’t require an HVAC professional.

Preventing HVAC Water Damage

Change the HVAC filter regularly

  • Changing the filter helps prevent the system from overworking, which can cause freezing, then defrosting, on the evaporator coils and may result in HVAC water damage.
  • Change the filter at least monthly using HEPA filters. Depending on the type of air filters and how often they’re used, it may be better to change them twice a year.
  • Check the instruction manual to find out which filter you should be using.
  • If the filters are inside the air handler or filter, it’s recommended that you contact a contractor or HVAC professional to change the filters.

Clean the condenser

  • The condenser is the exterior portion of your heat pump or air conditioner. The condenser requires proper airflow to work properly.
  • Remove any dirt or debris accumulating on the condenser at least once a year. The preferred time to do this is at the beginning of spring.
  • Be sure to keep plants away from the condenser and remove any cover from it to ensure proper airflow.
  • Be sure there are at least 24 inches of space between the unit and any bushes or shrubs in your backyard.

Maintain the condensation drain line

  • Check the condensation line when your AC unit is running to make sure you see water flowing to the drain. The amount of water flowing should depend on the humidity level in the house.
  • Clean the AC drainage holes. Locate the drainage hole on the base of the cabinet. Use a paper clip or wire to poke through the hole, clear it of any dirt or debris, and ensure the AC drainage is clear.
  • It’s also recommended that you flush out your drain line with an algaecide once or twice a year. Doing this will prevent algae or mold from forming. You can use either a commercial product or bleach to do this.
  • Be sure the main drain line and emergency drain line are properly connected.
  • Make sure that the pipe is oriented correctly. Weather can sometimes knock it out of alignment.

Unclog the drain line

  • In some instances, the drain line can get clogged with algae, dirt, mineral deposits, and even mold or mildew, which can cause water to overflow into your home.
  • Attach a wet/dry vacuum to the drain line and suck the clog out. 
  • Consider installing an overflow shut-off device on the drain line to automatically turn off the A/C unit if the drain line backs up.

Install a condensation pump

  • Installing a condensation pump is another way to avoid HVAC water damage.
  • A condensation pump helps excess water flow into a proper disposal drain.
  • A safety flow switch can also be installed to automatically turn off the power to the AC unit whenever condensation builds up.

Maintain the overflow drain pan

  • The drain pan collects any water that may have overflowed due to a clogged drain line.
  • Drain pans constructed from metal or plastic may become damaged over time, resulting in leaks and water damage.
  • Upon noticing any leaks near the drain pan, you should carefully inspect it for damage by utilizing a flashlight.
  • Consider using epoxy glue to patch up small cracks or holes in the pan. You can also choose to replace the entire pan altogether.
  • Clean the drain pan regularly. Simply rinse the pan and clean it with a bleach-water solution to clear out any dirt or potential mold growth.

Consider Having Your HVAC System Inspected Professionally

Inspecting and maintaining some types of HVAC systems can be difficult for homeowners. In these cases, it’s advisable to hire a professional. Besides performing the tasks mentioned above, HVAC professionals can examine and fix more serious problems related to HVAC components. These issues include ductwork, furnace flames, grills and registers, AC compressors, thermostats, and more. At Sky Air and Heat, your comfort is our priority. Our trained professionals can cover all aspects of HVAC repair as well as a new installation. Contact us to schedule an appointment.