Algae rely on water to thrive, and once they start growing inside an AC drain line system, they can quickly produce a clog. If the condensation line in the air conditioner experiences an algae clog, the entire system won’t work properly and may become damaged. Preventing algae from growing in the AC drain line is more efficient than removing them once they are already there.
Here is the step-by-step guide on how to prevent algae from growing on an ac drain line:
- Inspect the air conditioner regularly for any signs of mold or algae buildup. Look for green or brown growth starting to appear on the system because it will spread rapidly unless removed. Clean the affected areas with an algaecide to prevent the algae from spreading into the condensation line. The blower motor fan blade is where algae may start growing.
- Wipe down the system with a damp rag whenever it looks dusty or dirty. Removing debris helps reduce the risk of system clogs contributing to algae growth.
- Empty the condensate drain pan daily if the AC is used frequently. If the pan gets full, the overflow into the condensation line can lead to algae and mold over time.
- Place algae strip into the condensate pan — algae strips are strips of zinc or copper that help prevent algae from growing.
- Change the air conditioner’s filters every 30 days. Check your manual to determine how to do this properly with your specific model. The filter is useful in preventing algae from building up. The condensation line may be compromised if it clogs from age or overuse.
- Run the system for 10 minutes every two weeks, even in colder weather, to get the parts moving and to encourage airflow. Algae often grow in a stagnant environment, which helps prevent algae clogs from forming in the line. Do not do this in freezing weather, when expanding ice could damage the system.
Several additive products are designed to retard or prevent algae growth in the AC drain line. This helps keep the condensate pump and drain line clean and free of potential blocks. The most popular products are:
Pan strips or pan tablets are inserted directly into the drain pan and dissolve for about a month, or up to three months, depending on size and formulation. Pan strips are water-activated, time-released materials that can prevent algae and slime for about six months.
In-line systems allow you to treat the drain line without requiring access to the drain pan. The tablet is easily installed in a small reservoir that connects directly to the drain line.
Liquid additives can be poured directly into the drain pan, drain line, or condensate pump. The treatments remove and resist clogs creating algae and slime, lasting about 90 days.
As you can see, ensuring the proper function of the AC condensate drain system is an important part of your routine service calls. It’s not difficult to keep algae out of the ac drain line and maintain a proper condensate drainage system. With a little planning and attention to detail, you can avoid annoying callbacks, potential health issues, and property damage.