How to Clean Your HVAC Drain Line

A clean drain or condensate line on your air conditioning or high efficient furnace unit is necessary for proper operation. Not only to ensure humidity is efficiently removed from your home, but so that the air quality remains healthy as well. Algae and mold can grow inside a drain hvac drain line pipeline that hasn’t been cleaned in some time and eventually clog the line, leading to musty odors and water damage. In warmer climates, small amphibians have been known to clog lines. And remarkably, this basic step of preventative maintenance often gets overlooked by most HVAC companies when they service your A/C unit. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to clean and maintain your A/C unit’s drain line yourself.

You will need a wet/dry vacuum, rags, and distilled vinegar or peroxide to clean the drain line. First, you want to shut off the power and for safety, remove the breaker that controls your A/C unit. Locate the A/C’s condensation pan, which is usually under the unit. If it contains standing water, the drain line is probably clogged. Empty the drain pan or use the rags and/or the vacuum to remove the water, then clean it with soap.

Locate the drain opening, usually near your home’s foundation or an access port on your HVAC System. Use the wet/dry vacuum to suction the drain opening, letting it run for a few minutes. You may have to use an attachment for a better fit or place your hand around the pipe to improve suction. Any debris clogging the drain and water should collect in the vacuum canister.

You’ll now need to find the drain line’s access point. It usually has a T-shaped vent and a PVC cover. Remove the cover and flush it with the distilled water or peroxide to kill any impurities. You should allow your preferred disinfectant to sit for a half hour before flushing with water.

If this doesn’t unclog the line, call a professional for your HVAC Services. It’s a good idea to check the drain pan and line periodically to make sure your HVAC is working optimally to keep you cool all summer and warm all winter long.