Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is an important thing and having wet air filters is worthy of your attention. Just to let you know, about 77,000 people per month go to the Google search box and enter, “Why is my air filter wet?” In addition, that search engine returns 888,000 entries about that same subject. That is not a small number of people or information entries. So, here are some reasons for all the concern about wet air filters and why you should care.
HVAC systems are responsible for cooling air and when they do it, they produce condensate. Condensate is the liquid state of water.
Around the area where this action takes place such as the condenser, there is a drain pan underneath everything that catches the condensate. There is a drain line that is there to drain off the gathering water. If that drain line is clogged or if the drain pump is not working correctly, then the water will back up. As it backs up, it may spill over and drain into other parts of the HVAC system. One of those parts is the air filter.
Do You Smell Anything?
You can determine if your drain lines are clogged if you encounter water on the floor close to the air handler. If you smell musty odors and sense the humidity levels increasing, you may have clogged drain lines. You may have a clogged drain line or pan if you do not see water dripping from the condensate drain line outside.
As the filter grows more wet, it grows increasingly unable to do what it is intended to do which is to filter the air. If this is combined with reduced air flow, then the unit will use a great deal of excessive energy to produce the same comfort levels.
If the inside environment of the HVAC system if damp or wet, then it becomes a perfect place for mold and other biologicals to grow. As the system blows air, the mold spores will be propelled throughout the ducts and end up streaming into all the rooms of your home. This has the potential to make everyone sick.
Another problem with moisture in the system is the fact that the water is traveling to all sections of the unit including the electrical and mechanical components. Water/moisture is not ideal for these components. The water can corrode connectors and produce electrical arching resulting in a breakdown of electrical systems. This can be costly and dangerous.
What’s the solution?
The best thing is to be proactive by purchasing cleaners that you can put in the pan occasionally. You can buy mold retardants and if you choose, just put a cup of vinegar in the pan every few months. The vinegar will help do away with the mold and the musty smells.
You will want to get in there and clean out the drain pan and drain lines. If you don’t want to do it, contact your local HVAC provider. If you have a yearly maintenance contract in place with your HVAC company, they will perform maintenance and cleaning in this area as a matter of routine.