How to Clear Clogged Air Conditioner Lines

What You'll Need
Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner

If you live in an area where it is necessary to cool your home with an air conditioner, it will be important to keep the air conditioner lines clean in order to ensure the continued efficient use of your cooling unit. It is important to keep the lines on your air conditioning system unclogged, as this can lead to increased energy costs or outright failure of your cooling system.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure that your air conditioning lines remain unclogged. With a little patience and attention to detail, you should have your air conditioning unit running like new in no time.

Step 1: Turn Off Power 

The first important step you will need to take is to turn off all power to your air conditioning unit. This will be important for your own safety, as you will be working around electricity, and in order to ensure that you do not damage your air conditioning unit.

Step 2: Locate Condensation Line

Locate the compressor box on your air conditioning unit. This will typically look like a large metal box with a PVC pipe coming out of it and leading into your home. This PVC pipe is the condensation line.

Step 3: Disassemble Condensation Line

In order to investigate whether or not you have a clog in your condensation line, you will need to disassemble a portion of the line in order to access the inside. Sometimes there will be joints in the line itself that can be unscrewed in order to provide access. In other cases, you may have to disassemble the condensation line at the point where it connects to the compressor box. To do this, you will need to unscrew the compressor box from its housing in the air conditioning unit.

Step 4: Vacuum Out Any Debris

Once you have given yourself an access point to your condensation line by unscrewing a portion of the line, attach your wet/dry vacuum cleaner to the opening in the line and turn it on. Try to create as tight a seal as possible around the opening of the line. This will allow you to vacuum out as much dust, dirt and debris as possible with the vacuum. Allow the vacuum to run for 5 to 15 minutes, or until no more debris is coming out of the line. After you have done this, reattach the condensation line where you disassembled it before.

Step 5: If Thoroughly Clogged Clean Other End

Sometimes, your condensation line will be so clogged that you may need to clean it from the other end of the line in order to ensure that it is as clean as you would like it. Follow the line into your house and trace it to the condenser, which will often be located in your attic. Follow the same steps that you performed above to disassemble the line and vacuum out the contents. After doing this, return power to the air conditioning unit and test out the system.