How to Contend with Mold Growth in the Drip Pan

Published on: August 23, 2012

Every air conditioning unit comes equipped with a drip pan to catch the condensation that travels through its drain line. If you neglect to empty the drain pan, it can cause mold and other forms of bacteria to grow inside the standing water. An excess amount of water in the drip pan can indicate a clog somewhere within the air conditioning unit. You should always contact an AC installation and repair company in that situation. For mold problems, there are some simple steps you can follow to ensure that it never returns.

Check the Drain Line First

Before you begin preventative cleaning on your air conditioning unit, do a visual check to see if the drain line is clogged. If the clog is minor, you should be able to remove the debris yourself with a combination wet/dry vacuum cleaner. You will know the drain line is clear when you see water emptying into it once again. In order to prevent damage to your air conditioning unit, contact an AC installation and repair company for major blockage. Attempting to repair the drain line yourself could cause additional damage.

Prepare a Bleach Solution and Start Cleaning the Drain Pan

To clean the drain pan, find a bucket and fill it with three parts water and one part bleach. Next, put on a pair of rubber gloves and remove the drain pan from your air conditioning unit. You can then place it into the water and bleach and begin scrubbing with a cloth. If there are stubborn areas of mold that won’t come loose, try pouring some bleach and water on a stiff brush and removing it that way.

When you have finished cleaning the drain pan, put in back in place on your air conditioner. You should then pour one cup of bleach into the drain line at the point where it connects with the drip pan. By taking this extra step, you can prevent mold from growing inside of your air conditioner.

Keep Your Air Conditioner Clean

In addition to emptying the drain pan regularly, it is important to keep your unit clean both inside and outside. Try to make it a habit to regularly remove its door and look for debris that may have accumulated inside of it. If you see any, you can remove it with a cloth or vacuum. You should also check the air filter regularly and change it as needed. A professional AC installation and repair company near you can give you additional home maintenance tips for all of your HVAC equipment.

Consider Preventative Maintenance

When you have an air conditioner tune-up at least once a year from a professional AC installation and repair company, you may be able to avoid costly repairs in the future. Clogged tubing is a common problem, but it also causes major damage that can get expensive to fix. A service technician from an AC installation and repair company will make sure that the tubes are clear and that everything inside of your air conditioner is working as it should.