1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

August 4, 2008

:217 A/C Condensate Pan

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:217 EcoTip: Air conditioning systems not only cool but help dehumidify air by draining condensed water from their cooling coils. This water is supposed to drain into a condensate pan that is plumbed to dispose it. The pan should be mounted so that it can drain completely to help prevent a build up of organic material and bacteria contamination.

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 Additional Information:

The condensation pan for air conditioners is frequently mounted inside the system where it cannot be easily inspected to be sure it is clean and in good condition. In this case ask your service technician if there is a way they can provide you access to check on the unit between service calls.

The following information from EPA provides some guidance for selecting a new system:

  • Specify the following features for all air handling units:
    • Double-sloped drain pan – A double-sloped pan prevents water from standing and stagnating in the pan.
    • Non-corroding drain pan – Made from stainless steel or plastic. Prevents corrosion that would cause water to leak inside the AHU.
    • Easy access doors – All access doors are hinged and use quick release latches that do not require tools to open. Easy access to filters, drain pans, and cooling coils is imperative.
    • Double wall cabinet – The inner wall protects the insulation from moisture and mechanical damage, increases sound dampening, and is easier to clean.

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    April 24, 2008

    :115 Clean AC Coils

    Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

    1:5:10:115 EcoTip: It is time have your air conditioners cooling coils and system cleaned to prepare for a hot summer. Have it done now and your system will be ready when the hot weather hits. Dirty coils waste energy by creating greater resistance to air flow and can also be a source of poor air quality from microbial growth. Studies have shown that if you have a unit with both inside and outside coils (as shown below)- they need to be kept clean too.

     image credit: EPA

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     Additional Information

    Suggested Review – :110

     Primary reasons for cooling coils become fouled are that inefficient filters are used, or are not preventing dirty by-pass air from going around the filter instead of through it.

    This article by Bob Baker discusses cleaning AC coils.

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