THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT AIR CONDITIONING IN FLORIDA
- Cool your home only when you’re there. When you leave for the day, move the thermostat up to 82 and turn it back down to 78 when you come back. It costs a lot less to bring the temperature down to 78 than it does to keep it at 78 all day or you can have us install an inexpensive programmable thermostat that will do this for you automatically, so your home will be nice and cool whenever you’re there…and you won’t be wasting money when you’re not.
- Remind everyone in the family how thermostats work: Your house won’t cool down Remind everyone in the family how thermostats work: Your house won’t cool down faster if you set the thermostat at 70. It just wastes money. If you want the temperature at 78, set the thermostat at 78.
- If the home is not your primary residence or are frequently traveling it is suggested to have a humidistat installed to keep your home air conditioning system running at a minimum resulting in savings and preventing mold growth.
- Clean or change your A/C filters once a month. A clogged filter makes your A/C work harder and may cause the system to break down.
- A standard air conditioner filter works well to keep your system and its ductwork clean, but they don’t really improve indoor air quality. To improve indoor air quality in your home it is recommended to have a media filter Installed. The media filter rests between the main return duct and the blower cabinet and will improve dust and particle removal by seven times than that of a standard furnace filter.
- Maintain proper airflow through your system. Keep the interior doors and vents open to help your A/C circulate air more efficiently.
- Enter a preventative maintenance program to keep your system running efficiently.
- Keep sunlight out during summer months. If you have a lot of windows, you’ll save on air conditioning if you keep the drapes or blinds closed when you’re not home.
- Check your duct system for leaks. If you have central air, check all the ducts and seals. If they leak, you’re wasting money. Click here for Duct System Test and Repair page for more information.
Why Is My Air Filter Wet?
Does your HVAC air filter feel damp or completely soaked?
Well, first you’ll want to replace your air filter.
A wet air filter can’t clean your air very well, and can quickly become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. (And no one wants mold spores entering their home’s air.)
So, where is that moisture coming from? Well, it’s actually coming from your AC. You see, in normal operation your AC system produces moisture. But that moisture should never come into contact with your air filter—unless there’s a problem.
AC problems that result in a wet air filter include:
– Clogged condensate line (the most likely problem)
– Leaky drain pan
– Frozen evaporator coil
We’ll explain each of those problems (and how to fix them). But first let’s take a closer look at why your AC produces moisture in the first place.
Why your AC produces moisture?
Your air conditioner has 2 jobs:
- To cool your home’s warm air.
- To remove moisture from the humid air.
When your home’s warm, humid air enters your return vents, it travels through the ductwork until it gets to the evaporator coil, the A-shaped component that’s responsible for cooling and dehumidifying your home’s air. The coils in the evaporator are filled with refrigerant—a cold liquid that’s designed to absorb heat and moisture from the air.
An evaporator coil
As the evaporator coil extracts moisture from the air, beads of water form and drip off the coils into a drain pan. As you might guess, the “drain” pan sits directly underneath the evaporator coil and is designed to collect all the moisture your AC produces.
The drain pan is connected to a pipe called a condensate line, which transports that moisture out of your home.
Now, if there are problems with any of those 3 main components, then water can escape and soak the area around your air handler—including your air filter.
Let’s take a look at some of those problems…
Problem #1: Clogged condensate line
A clogged condensate line is the most likely cause of a wet air filter. We’ll explain why it gets clogged and how to fix it.
Why your condensate line gets clogged
Your condensate line runs from your indoor air handler to the outdoors (where it dumps moisture). But because the condensate drain line is exposed to outdoor weather, strong winds and storms often kick up dirt and debris that can clog up the condensate drain line.
Signs your condensate line is clogged
- Water on the floor near the air handler
- Musty odors and increasing humidity inside your home
- Water isn’t dripping from the white PVC condensate drain line outside your home
How to fix it
Follow these steps to clear your condensate line:
- Find your condensate drain line exit
- Connect a wet/dry vacuum to the condensate line opening
- Run the vacuum for 10–15 seconds. Repeat until the clog is removed
Don’t have a wet/dry vacuum? Or need a professional’s help clearing your condensate line? Give us a call: 941-467-4243.
Problem #2: Leaky drain pan
If your condensate line isn’t the issue, check your drain pan.
Your drip pan sits underneath your indoor air handler and collects the water that drains from your AC’s evaporator coils. Over time, these pans can crack or rust out, which causes water to escape and soak the surrounding area.
How to fix it
If your drip pan is leaky, go to a home improvement store and buy a replacement pan. Just tell the store clerk your AC’s brand and model and they’ll help you find a drain pan that fits your system. When you get home, just slide in the new drain pan under the air handler where the old one was.
Not sure what size and model drain pan you need? Just contact us at 941-467-4243 to replace it for you.
Problem #3: Frozen evaporator coil
If your condensate line is clear and your drip pan is in good condition, then you may have a frozen evaporator coil.
A frozen evaporator coil is usually caused by low airflow or a refrigerant leak. Basically, these 2 problems cause the temperature of the evaporator coil to drop, which freezes the condensation (moisture from your home’s warm air).
So, what does a frozen evaporator coil have to do with your wet air filter? Well, in between cooling cycles (when your AC isn’t operating), all that ice on the evaporator coil melts. And since there’s so much water, it will often overflow from the drain pan and leak onto surrounding surfaces, including your air filter.
Signs you have a frozen evaporator coil:
- Warm air coming from your vents
- Longer cooling times than normal
- Higher energy bills
- Ice on refrigerant lines
How to fix it
Follow these steps to troubleshoot a frozen evaporator coil:
- Check for low airflow problems: Make sure ALL of your home’s vents are open (even in unused rooms) and make sure your air filter isn’t dirty. This will help your AC get enough air so it can run properly.
- Look for signs of a refrigerant leak: Do you hear a hissing sound? Or does your AC run longer than normal? If so, you should contact a professional to find and repair your refrigerant leak.