As a homeowner, one important component to care for is your HVAC system. Part of this maintenance is changing out the air filter. You can easily do this yourself each month. Over time, you may notice the air filter becoming damp. This can indicate a significant issue with your system. The following are some things you need to know about if your air filter is damp:
How Can a Wet Air Filter Harm Your System?
A damp air filter cannot keep dust and contaminants out of your indoor air. This leads to the contaminants getting into your home. If you or anyone in your household is afflicted with respiratory problems, the poor indoor air quality is not healthy. A damp air filter can also cause mold and mildew growth inside the system, which is harmful for both your system and your health.
What Causes a Damp Air Filter?
There are several reasons why an air filter can get damp. One of the main causes is the condensate drain. This drain can clog, leading any moisture in the drain to accumulate and back up into the HVAC instead of draining outside the house. The condensate drain is near the air filter, which is why the filter will seem damp if the drain is clogged.
What Should You Do?
The first step is to remove the damp filter and replace it with a new one. If you are not comfortable with dealing with the interior of your HVAC system, you next should call your HVAC technician to clear the condensate drain.
However, you can attempt to clear the drain yourself. You first have to find where the drain leads water outside. The condensate drain is generally a white pipe at the bottom of the home near the outdoor unit.
Next, you will need to secure the hose of a shop vac to the pipe. Wrap a towel around the hose of the vacuum and secure it tightly with duct tape to create a good seal for the suction. Turn the vacuum on and let it run for almost a minute. While the vacuum is running, listen for any changes in the sound. You may hear when a clog leaves the pipe. If you do not hear any changes, turn the vacuum off and try again in a few minutes. Do not allow the vacuum to run continuously.
If you still do not hear any changes, you will need to have the drain professionally cleaned, as the clog is likely too far into the pipe to be removed with vacuum suction.
Look for professional help with air conditioning in your area in order to learn more.