Preventing HVAC Water Damage
HVAC Water Damage
Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system can cause extensive water
damage if it’s not maintained correctly. Common causes of HVAC water damage
include a clogged drain, frozen evaporator coils, and pipes that are not
So, it’s important to
care for your HVAC system at least once a year. That helps to prolong the life
of your unit and prevent additional heating or cooling expenses. The good news
is that HVAC maintenance tasks are quite easy to do and do not involve hiring a
professional most of the time.
How to prevent HVAC water damage
Change the HVAC filter regularly
- Changing the filter
helps prevent the unit from overworking, which can cause freezing and then
defrosting on the evaporator coils, leading HVAC water damage.
- Change the filter at
least once a month with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. Some
air filters need to be changed twice a year, others once a month, depending on
their type and how often you use the HVAC system.
- Check the instructions
manual first to know what type of filter you need.
- If the filters are
inside the furnace or air handler, hire a contractor to change the filters.
Clean the condenser
- The condenser is the
exterior portion of your air conditioner or heat pump. It requires proper
airflow to work efficiently.
- Any dirt or other
debris that accumulate on the condenser should be removed once a year
(preferably at the beginning of spring).
- Also, make sure to
keep plants away from the condenser and remove any cover from it to ensure
- Leave at least two
feet of space between the unit and the bushes or shrubs in your yard.
Maintain the condensation drain line
- When your AC unit is
running, check the condensation line opening to make sure you see water flowing
to the drain. The amount of water that flows depends on the humidity level in
- Clean the AC drainage
holes. Locate the drainage hole on the base of the cabinet (beneath the
evaporator fins). Use a paper clip or wire to poke through the hole and clear
it, thus ensuring the AC drainage is kept clear.
- Once or twice a year,
flush out your drain line with an algaecide to prevent mold or algae from
forming. Use a commercial solution or regular bleach.
- Make sure to properly
connect and install the main drain line and emergency drain line.
- Check that the pipe is
oriented correctly, as it might be knocked out of alignment.
How to unclog the drain line
- Sometimes, the drain
line gets clogged with algae, dirt, mineral deposits, and even mold or mildew,
causing water to overflow into your home.
- Attach a wet/dry
vacuum to the drain line (removing the paper filter first) and suck the clog
- 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
- Another tip on how to
avoid HVAC water damage is to install a condensation pump.
- That helps excess
water flow into the proper disposal drain.
- Additionally, install
a safety float switch to automatically shut down the power to the AC unit
whenever condensation builds up, and there is a risk of water overflow.
Maintain the overflow drain pan
- The drain pan collects
any water that has overflowed due to a clogged drain line.
- Over time, drain pans
made of metal or plastic may get damaged, resulting in leaks and water damage.
- If you notice leaks
near the drain pan, carefully inspect it for damage using a flashlight.
- Consider patching up
small holes or cracks using epoxy glue or replacing the pan entirely.
- Regularly clean the
drain pan. Rinse the pan and clean it with a bleach-water mixture to clear out
any dirt or mold growth.
Have your HVAC system inspected professionally
- HVAC inspection and
maintenance can be difficult for homeowners, so hiring a professional is a good
- Besides the tasks
already mentioned, they can inspect and fix problems related to HVAC
- Those include the
ductwork, furnace flames, grills and registers, AC compressors, the thermostat,
Is your HVAC unit causing water damage? Purofirst
Knowing how to prevent AC from leaking is
sometimes not enough to prevent your unit from causing water damage. When leaks
occur, the moisture promotes mold growth that can contaminate the air in your
home. Check out how to prevent mold in HVAC systems. For HVAC water damage
restoration and mold removal, contact Purofirst today.