Air conditioners dehumidify the air as a byproduct of their cooling method. As they dehumidify, they remove moisture from the air and drain it through a condensate drain. Over time, this drain can become clogged with dirt and debris and needs to be cleaned. There are various ways to clean out an air conditioner condensate drain, and one popular method is pouring white vinegar.
Benefits of using vinegar over bleach
Many companies recommend pouring bleach to clear clogs in the condensation drain, but bleach can potentially cause damage to the components in your AC. It can damage the materials it’s used on as it is a harsh, corrosive chemical. During the colder months, bleach can quickly eat away at, not only the line, but the glue and cement joining the line to the fittings and the condensation pan. Also, pouring bleach into the drain when the unit is not operating(Such a vacation homes) can leave residual bleach, which will damage the drain pan and line. Using vinegar for preventative maintenance throughout the year will keep your drain clean and clear and will not damage your line. All-in-all, vinegar is a safer alternative to bleach and it doesn’t produce dangerous fumes or leave behind toxic residue.
Twice a year, pour about 1/2 gallon of vinegar to kill the mold, mildew and algae that grows in your air conditioner condensation drain year-round.