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Condensate Drains

Keep Cool and Dry

A seldom known fact about air conditioners is that not only do they cool your home, but about 25 percent of the work that they do is the removal of humidity from your home. Since the typical outdoor humidity on a hot and sticky day outside is around 65%, we need to remove that humidity from the air in your home when we are cooling it down or your home would feel like a cool damp cave. Actually removing humidity from the air has as much to do with our comfort as cooling it.

The process to remove humidity is pretty simple. If you go by your outside air conditioner when it is running you will feel warm air blowing from it. This is actually the heat it is removing from your home. The air conditioner cools your home by causing your inside A/Coil in your furnace to become very cold. Because it is cold, the A/Coil will sweat like a cold glass of iced tea in the summer. This is the way humidity is removed from the air. The water then runs down the coil and is collected in a drain pan and is then piped to a floor drain nearby or pumped away with a small condensate pump. Usually, a properly sized air conditioner will lower the indoor humidity to around 50 percent or so and to accomplish this the air conditioner must remove almost one gallon of water every hour from the air in your home.

Because so much water is being collected, you should check occasionally around your furnace when the air conditioning has been running for awhile, to make sure its drain system is working properly. Look carefully, especially near the floor of the furnace and if you see any signs of moisture get it checked ASAP.

Some of the symptoms of water on the floor around your furnace are: A blocked drain, a rusted drain pan, a dirty filter or a non functioning condensate pump. If you see water, get it looked at right away as the water may be damaging the inside components of your furnace. It is usually a good policy to have the drain flushed once a year to prevent this damage. Drain cleaning is part of a yearly maintenance check and if you haven’t had the system cleaned recently, go take a look now and make sure things are dry around the furnace.