What your AC wants you to know about the Monsoon!

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Air Conditioners and Humidity

A common saying in Arizona which is frequently used is, “but it’s a dry heat!” Well that doesn’t always apply during the monsoon season. Prior to 2007, the start of the monsoon was defined as when the dew point for 3 consecutive days is 55 degrees or higher. This means that the air holds more moisture than usual.  Air conditioners are designed to remove this humidity  from the air. This water or condensation flows through PVC tubes to the outside of the house. You’ve probably noticed them on the side of your house. Now what happens if they don’t work?

What you need to know about condensation lines

Air conditioners have condensation lines that allow the water to be removed from the air handler typically found in the attic. You’ll notice two sets of outlets or pipes on the wall on your house.  The primary condensation line(s) are usually closer to the ground. The secondary or back up line(s) are usually higher and closer to the roof line.

When there is enough moisture in the air which happens frequently during the monsoon, the primary condensation line is providing a path for the water that has condensed.   This is normal and proper.  If or should I say when the primary line(s) become clogged, the water flows out the secondary line(s) that are located higher.  If you see water coming out the higher or secondary tube(s), it means the primary line is clogged and it is time to call your AC technician.   When both are clogged, you can expect a leak on the ceiling underneath your secondary overflow pan directly under the air handler.

Bottom line: become familiar with the location of both your primary and secondary condensation lines and check them periodically. Early to mid-July would be a perfect time and then throughout the summer.  When the monsoon comes and the humidity in the air increases you’ll be
able to see where the water is exiting.  As I mentioned,  water coming out the lower one is the way it’s supposed to be, if it’s coming out the higher one, call the AC person quickly.  If you have rental properties, an occasional visit would be a good decision because tenants will probably not be as attentive as the homeowner.

So while you may think that your AC is working just fine because it’s keeping you cool, don’t forget about the condensation lines that must be in working order or you’ll have a mess to clean up for something that could have been easily avoided.

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