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Solving Common A/C Condensate Drain ProblemsYour air conditioner discharges water as it works to cool and dry the air in your home. That water drips from the evaporator coil into a collection pan, which channels it into a condensate drain. When that drain is working properly, it provides pathway for that excess moisture to drain away safely and efficiently. However, there are several common problems that can occur in condensate drains, impairing their proper function.


This can occur as dirt and debris collects on the A/C coils, then mixes with the water that drips from those coils into the drainage system. A buildup up of this debris can lead to slow water flow or even clog the condensate drain completely, causing water to back up into in the collection pan until it overflows. If you see water leaking or moisture around the A/C unit, this is an indication of drainage problems.


The A/C condensate drain and pan are constantly damp, creating conditions that are ripe for the development of mold and/or algae. As these organisms develop, they can contaminate your indoor air, which can lead to health problems. They can also damage your A/C equipment and contribute to condensate drain clogs. A musty smell when your system is running can indicate this problem.

Trap issues

Condensate drains typically have traps, which are designed to prevent odors and gases from the sewer line, where these drains empty, from backing up into your home. If traps dry out or become clogged with debris, mold or algae, they become less efficient at this function. If you are smelling foul odors in your home, your condensate drain’s trap may need attention.

The best way to resolve these problems is to contact your HVAC technician to have the condensate drains cleaned and flushed. To prevent further problems, keep your air filters clean to minimize debris in the system, and have your condensate system cleaned and flushed twice a year as part of routine HVAC system maintenance.

For more information about condensate drain problems and/or maintenance, please contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. We’ve been keeping Orlando-area homes comfortable since 1969.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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