How to Clean an Air Conditioner Condensation Line

What You'll Need
A wet/dry vacuum cleaner

In order to have a totally clean air conditioner that continues to run efficiently season after season you need to keep your air conditioner condensation line clean and free of sludge and debris. With the help of this informative guide you will learn how to clean the air conditioner condensation line so you do not have to call some professional technician and pay him hundreds of dollars for ten minutes worth of work.

Step 1- Turn off Power and Locate Condensation Line

First and foremost, you need to turn off the power to your air conditioning unit. This is a very crucial step to ensure safety and prevent any damage to you or your air conditioner. After you have cut the power to your air conditioning unit, it is time to locate the condensation line. To do this, go outside and look for the box that houses your air conditioners compressor. This is the big metal box that kicks on any time your air conditioner is in use. The condensation line is usually a PVC pipe, white in color, which runs from your compressor to the unit inside your house.

Step 2- Preparing the Condensation Line

Look for a place you can take the pipe apart. You may have to open your compressor box. To do so you will need to unscrew it at the base. Next you have to lift the compressor box off, make sure you are careful so as not to ding or bump anything while you are taking the box off. Once you have located a part of the pipe you can take apart, do so.

Step 3- Cleaning the Condensation Line

To clean the condensation line all you will have to do is hold the vacuum cleaner up to the exposed pipe. This will suck out any sludge, dirt or debris that may have gotten stuck in the condensation line over time. This process should take about five to fifteen minutes, depending on how clogged your line is. Once no more sludge is coming out of the pipe, you must reassemble the condensation line. If you unscrewed the pipe itself it would be wise to wrap the threading in plumbers tape to ensure a tight fit when you screw the pipe back together.

Step 4- Clean the Other End

While most of the time you will be done after step three, your unit may be in dire need of cleaning. If this is the case and the pipe still feels like it has build up in it but nothing is being sucked out by the vacuum, locate your condenser which will be inside your house, often times in the attic. Repeat steps two and three until no more sludge is being sucked out by your vacuum cleaner. Once again, reassemble the pipe.

Step 5- Return Power and Test

Lastly, return the power to your air conditioning unit and test it to see if the efficiency has improved at all. If not then there is a problem somewhere other than the condensation line.