Winter is ending, and turning to an air conditioner is common to keep the home cool in the upcoming summer. If you have switched on the air conditioner after a long time and see a lack of condensation, this may shock you. If you are facing this issue, you are in the right place.
Low refrigerant levels, dirty evaporator coils, and clogged drain lines are the common causes of condensation issues in the air conditioning system. Refill the refrigerant gas, clean the evaporator coil, and unclog the drain lines to fix the issue. Extremely low humidity can also be a cause.
This guide will explore the common causes and troubleshooting tips to fix the condensation issues in your air conditioner. You will also learn how to maintain an air conditioner to prevent it from faults.
Understanding the Role of Condensation in Air Conditioning Systems
Air conditioning creates and maintains a particular temperature, humidity, and purity in indoor spaces.
The summer season is around the corner. So, a week ago, I inspected the air conditioning unit for issues or faults.
Shockingly I saw that even after running for more than a couple of hours, my air conditioner was not producing condensation.
Initially, I was clueless, and then I did my research. Luckily I found the causes of the issue, and I also consulted professionals to find out the possible fixes.
I fixed the condensation issue in my air conditioning system before summer began to avoid the hassle.
In this article, I shared all the information I learned during my research which will be helpful for you to fix the condensation issues in your air conditioner.
Let’s start by understanding the role of condensation in the air conditioning system.
Condensation is a process that takes place in the air conditioner to help it maintain the specific temperature all over the indoor space.
The interior unit mechanism of the air conditioner will remove the heat from the indoor air, and the cool air replaces it through condensation.
Refrigerants in the air conditioning system carry the warm air from the indoor space, which travels through the evaporator coil.
In the evaporator coil, refrigerants will be vaporized, absorbing moisture from the air.
And the evaporated refrigerant will reach the compressor, which is heated up through compression.
Now, the condensed refrigerant will reach the condenser coils, releasing the heat absorbed from the indoor air.
At this point, the refrigerant will turn into liquid through condensation.
Condensation is an important process in the air conditioning system to maintain a specific temperature.
Common Causes of No Condensation in Air Conditioning Systems
When I inspected my air conditioning system, I found a few issues causing no condensation.
Finding the cause helped me fix the issue promptly.
Here are the common causes of no condensation in air conditioning systems as far as I researched:
Dirty evaporator coil
Evaporator coils are important in absorbing heat and moisture from the atmosphere air.
If the coils are filled with dust or spiderweb, it will reduce heat absorption.
Thus the condensation process will not be efficient in the air conditioning system.
When I inspected the condenser coil of my air conditioning system, it was filled with dust.
It prevented the condensation process from happening in my system.
As we already discussed, refrigerants carry moisture from indoors, and low refrigerant levels will hamper condensation.
It is best to hire a professional to check the refrigerant level in your air conditioner.
With the help of professionals, check if leaks in the system result in low refrigerant levels.
Clogged drain lines
Drain lines carry the excess moisture to expel it.
If somehow, the drain line of your air conditioning system is clogged, it will prevent condensation from occurring.
It was also one of the causes of no condensation in my air conditioning system. I unclogged it immediately to fix the issue.
Condenser fan issues
As refrigerants carry heat and moisture from the indoor space, a condenser fan removes the heat by blowing cool air into it to facilitate vaporization.
If condenser fans are faulty, there are chances of no condensation issues in your air conditioning system.
You can inspect all these causes to determine which is responsible for the issue.
How to Troubleshoot a Lack of Condensation in Your Air Conditioning System
As we have discussed the common causes, you can start troubleshooting the issue by inspecting them individually.
Follow the steps below to troubleshoot the condensation issue in your air conditioning system:
- Inspect the air filter and check if they are clogged or dirty. Clean the air filter or replace it if it is damaged.
- Thermostats are used to set a specific temperature. If the thermostat settings are inaccurate, it may cause condensation issues. Check for faults in the thermostat and replace it if it is completely faulty.
- Inspect if the evaporator coils are dirty. Clean them to promote the proper airflow in the evaporator coil to avoid condensation issues.
- Low refrigerant levels are the first thing you must check when having condensation issues. The low refrigerant level is the common cause of condensation issues. In such a case, you must consider hiring a professional to fill the refrigerant gas.
- Inspect if the compressor is running properly. Faults in the compressor will also cause condensation issues in the air conditioning system. If the compressor is faulty, consider hiring a professional to replace the compressor.
- Inspect the blower fan near the duct. It facilitates the smooth movement of air in the duct. If they are damaged, it will cause condensation issues. To fix this issue, you must replace the blower fan.
Even after troubleshooting the causes, if the condensation issues persist, you must consider hiring a professional to troubleshoot the issue.
Checking and Cleaning the Air Conditioning System’s Condensate Drain Line
Here are the symptoms of a faulty drain line in your air conditioning system:
- Water damage.
- Bad odor in the air vents.
- Dripping sound.
- Malfunctioning AC
- Condensation issues.
- No water is coming out of the AC.
If you observe these signs in your air conditioning system, the drain line must be clogged.
I followed the steps mentioned below to clean the drain line of my air conditioning system:
Follow the steps below if your drain line is clogged to fix the clogged drain line:
- Turn off the power supply to the air conditioner by turning off the switch in the thermostat that will switch off the outer unit. Then locate the circuit breaker to turn off the power.
- Gather the necessary tools to clean the drain line. You will need a wire brush, soap, distilled water, and dry rags.
- Locate the drain line of your air conditioning system. You can find the drain pipe near the outlet unit. A 1-inch, grey, or white PVC pipe is attached to the outlet unit’s wall.
- Remove the drain pan, and remove all the excess water using a rag.
- The drain pan is often infected with mold and bacterial growth. Use soapy water to remove all the mold and bacterial formation.
- You can locate the access point of the drain line near the drain pan. The drain pan is closed with a cover. Remove the cover from the drain line and inspect if there are clogs.
- If you find visible clogs in the drain line, wear gloves in your hand and try to clear the clog with a stick or wire brush as much as you can.
- Prepare the cleaning solution using vinegar. Mix 4 tablespoons of vinegar with one bowl of water.
- Pour the vinegar into the drain pine. It will break the clogs and help you remove all the stubborn dirt accumulation. The vinegar solution worked well to clean my drain line.
- I let it sit for 5 hours to clear all the clogs. You can also do the same for effective cleaning. The more you let the vinegar sit, the cleaner the drain line of the air cooler will get.
- Once the vinegar solution clears all the clogs, you can flush the clean water to remove all the residue.
- Run the water to the drain line until the drain line is clear.
- Observe the drain pan and check if the water is flowing smoothly.
- Close the drain line cover and turn on the power supply.
Ensuring Proper Airflow in the Air Conditioning System for Optimal Condensation
Before promoting proper airflow, you must know the signs of airflow issues in your air conditioning system.
Suppose there are visible signs of airflow issues.
In that case, you can take steps to promote proper airflow in the air conditioning system.
Here are the signs of improper airflow in your air conditioning system:
- Hot and cold spots in your house.
- Imbalance of pressure.
- Unusual noises in the system.
- No airflow in the unit.
Follow the steps below to ensure proper airflow:
Unclog air filters
Clogged air filters will cause several issues in the air conditioning system.
They are important in filtering dust, mold, and pollutants to clean the air.
If the air filter is clogged, it may cause airflow issues in the air conditioning system.
To fix this issue, you must clean the air filters regularly. If you don’t have time to clean it by yourself, consider seeing professional cleaning once a month.
Clean the vents
Check the vent to inspect if debris or leaves of the outdoor plants clog them. If the vent is clogged, it causes pressure issues in your air conditioning system.
To promote smooth airflow, make sure to clear the clogs and debris accumulation in the vent.
Unblock the ducts
Air from the cooling system travels through the duct to cool all the rooms in your home.
Check if the duct is blocked with dirt or debris.
Unclog the duct to prevent low airflow in the cooling system.
Regular maintenance will avoid clogs in the ducts.
Clean the fan
The blower fan attached near the duct will move the air fastly.
There will be slow air movement if the fan is damaged or not working efficiently.
To fix this issue, you must check and replace the fan if it is not working efficiently.
Check the evaporator coils are frozen.
The evaporator coil is an important component that helps in the condensation process to cool the air in the environment.
If the evaporator coil is frozen, it will not facilitate smooth airflow.
Dirty filters and low refrigerant levels commonly cause it.
To fix this issue, you must diagnose the cause of the frozen evaporator coil and take steps to solve the problem.
How to Determine if Your Air Conditioning System is Overcharged with Refrigerant
It is easy to determine the overcharge of refrigerants in the air conditioning system by checking if it shows these signs:
- Increased heat discharge.
- Unbalanced pressure.
- Unusual sound in the compressor.
- Frozen layers.
- High utility bills.
- Your air conditioning system is shutting down.
Addressing Low Refrigerant Levels in Your Air Conditioning System
The causes of low refrigerant levels are:
- Improper installation of the air cooling system.
- Leakage of gas.
- Not maintaining the air cooling system properly.
Here is the common sign of a low refrigerant level in the air conditioning system:
- Due to low refrigerant levels, the air conditioning unit will work hard, resulting in high utility bills.
- Suppose your air conditioning unit takes longer than usual to cool your home. In that case, it might be due to the low refrigerant level. Consider consulting professionals to take immediate action.
- Check if the warm air is discharging from the vent. It is an obvious sign of a low refrigerant level.
- Check if the water is leaking around the refrigerant lines. Leakages cause lower levels of refrigerant gas.
- Check if your air conditioning system produces unusual and hissing noises. Check for the refrigerant levels if there is a dripping noise in the outlet unit.
Proper Maintenance and Care for Your Air Conditioning System to Promote Condensation
Proper maintenance will ensure the air conditioning unit’s smooth functioning and avoid condensation issues.
Follow the steps below to ensure proper maintenance of your air cooling system:
- Clean the air filters regularly to remove dust and debris from them. It would be best to clean the air filters at least once a month.
- Check the evaporator and condenser coils regularly and clean them to avoid dust and debris accumulation.
- Check the drain pan for mold and bacterial growth. Clean it with soapy water to avoid it.
- Check the drain line for any clogs. Run the clean water to the drain line to avoid clogs in it.
- Fins help to maintain the proper airflow in the air conditioning system. If the fins are bent, it will cause a condensation issue. To avoid this issue, check the fins and straighten them if they are bent.
- During the winter season, keep the compressor unit covered with the help of a blanket wrap. It will prevent it from harsh climates.
Professional Air Conditioning Service and Repair for Issues with Condensation
Professionals check the refrigerant level of your air conditioning system, and they will also check for leakage in the system.
They will efficiently check the entire unit from condenser coils, evaporator coils, compressor, refrigerant line, and fan.
Professional service will save you time and effort. They will also have enough tools to repair, and they will replace the damaged parts efficiently without any hassle.
Condensation is the crucial process of the air conditioning system to maintain a specific temperature in your home. If there is no condensation occurring in your air conditioning system, it indicates serious issues.
The common causes of lack of condensation are low refrigerant levels, dirty evaporator coils, clogged drain lines, and condensation fan issues. You can fix the issue by inspecting each of the causes and doing the necessary fixes.
Maintaining the air conditioning system properly will avoid condensation issues in your air conditioning system. A proper maintenance schedule includes the following:
- Cleaning the air filters regularly.
- Unclogging the vent and drain line.
- Inspect the drain pan for mold and bacterial formation.
If you can’t figure out the cause of the condensation issue in your AC, consider hiring a professional to diagnose and fix the cause immediately.
Does AC always have condensation?
Condensation is the continuous process that occurs in the air conditioning system. However, if excessive condensation occurs, you must fix the issues immediately.
How much condensation should AC produce?
An air conditioning system produces 50 to 20 gallons of condensation every day.
Reference: Condensation Wikipedia