Did you know that water is produced while your air conditioner is operating? It’s not that the system itself is producing water, but rather that moisture is released from your home’s air when it is cooled down. In the same way that water drips down a cold glass of ice water in the sun, water drips off your air conditioner’s evaporator coils when warm air comes into contact with the cold coils. So where does that water go? That’s the job of the drip pan. Today we’re going to talk about what an air conditioner drip pan is and some of the possible issues that can develop with this essential part!
What is an air conditioner drip pan?
As we mentioned above, condensation drips off of your air conditioner’s evaporator coils when warm air comes into contact with them. This water comes from the moisture in the air that’s present when humidity levels are high in your home, which is common during the summer months.
A drip pan is located directly under your evaporator coils and is there to catch the water that drips off of the coils. It is connected to your system’s condensate drain line, through which the water is directed out of your home.
What can go wrong with your air conditioner’s drip pan?
A drip pan sounds like a simple enough part of your air conditioner, but there are a few things that can go wrong with it that can potentially damage your system. Those include:
- Cracks in the pan. Cracks can sometimes develop in drip pans either naturally or due to something coming into contact with the pan. If a crack develops, water can leak out of the drip pan and onto your air conditioner and furnace, potentially causing damage to your systems.
- Water overflowing the pan. If the condensate drain line that’s connected to your drip pan is clogged, water can build up and clog the pan (just like a kitchen sink overflowing due to a clogged drain). If the water builds up too much in the pan, it can begin to overflow and possibly damage your system.
How can you ensure your air conditioner drip pan is working properly?
The best way to ensure your drain pan is working properly is to have it inspected during an annual air conditioner tune-up We’ll take a look at your air conditioner’s entire draining system and ensure that your pan is working great. In addition, you can help prevent an overflowing drain pan by regularly changing your air filter and/or installing a whole house air cleaner.
Finally, consider installing a drain pan with a float valve that can detect when water is overflowing the pan. This safety device will shut down your air conditioner in the event that water builds up too high in the pan, which can prevent serious damage to your system.
If you have any questions about an air conditioner drip pan, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Charles, MO, air conditioning contractor. We provide service all over the St. Louis area, including towns like St. Paul, St. Peters and Town and Country, MO.
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