Your air conditioner has two jobs. One is to cool your home, and the other is to lower humidity in your house. The AC lowers humidity through the process of condensation. The condensation should flow outdoors or to a drain and not be a problem, but sometimes the condensation doesn't drain properly, and you might notice foul odors, see water around the AC, or your AC might shut down. This is how your AC is supposed to deal with condensation, the problems condensation can cause, and the types of repairs your equipment could need.
How Your AC Drains Away Condensation
Draining away condensation is a passive process that you shouldn't need to deal with unless a problem develops. When air from your home gets sucked in the air handler, the air passes over copper lines filled with refrigerant. The difference in temperature causes condensation to form on the lines. The condensation drips into a pan and then drains away from your AC.
Your air conditioner might have a pump in the pan that switches on and pumps the water out if it can't drain out naturally. There could also be a float switch in the pan that detects the water level. When the level is high enough, the pump is triggered to turn on. When the level is too high, the AC might shut down to keep the pan from spilling over.
How To Tell If The Condensation Isn't Draining
If your AC doesn't have a float switch that shuts your AC down, water will keep dripping in the pan until it overflows. You may notice water around the air handler that leads to water damage on the floor or rust on the metal equipment. You might also notice a musty odor from stagnant water and mildew. There could also be a foul odor from bacteria growing in the water damage.
How An Air Conditioning Repair Person Helps
The first step is to figure out why the water isn't draining. A possible cause is a clog in the drain. The repair person can dismantle the condensation pan and drain to clean them thoroughly. The repair technician might use a wet vacuum to pull debris out of the drain or run water through it to flush it out.
Once those parts are clean, the technician might check the pump and switches. If those parts have failed, water won't drain from the pan. Any parts that are broken or malfunctioning can be replaced. An air conditioning repair technician might also have to clean up the air handler to get rid of bacteria and mildew that causes foul odors.