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Also known as a condensate pan, an AC drip pan is a pan that is located beneath your air conditioner’s coils. It collects the condensation that forms and drips off the coils as well as airborne moisture that fills the coils as your air conditioner dehumidifies the air in your home. At times, however, especially during the hot, humid, midsummer months in Marietta, your AC unit can produce enough condensation to fill and overflow the drip pan or pans. This can be a serious problem if you happen to be out of town or on vacation for an extended period of time.

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What Is an AC Drip Pan?

Regardless of the type of air-conditioning unit you have in your home – a central unit or an interior room air conditioner – it will have at least one, and often two, drip pans. The primary AC drip pan, as noted above, is installed on the coil itself. Many units also have an auxiliary drip pan that is located either directly beneath the main pan or under the unit itself. If either one of these overflows, water will spill inside your home. You could have serious problems ranging from mildew and mold to a water-damaged floor or ceiling.

How Can You Prevent Damage?

One solution that can offer you peace of mind is an AC drip pan sensor. These are simple devices that are installed on the drip pans to monitor the water levels. Once the water reaches a certain level, an alarm will sound. Most sensors can also be installed to shut down your AC system if the water in a pan reaches a predetermined level. Drip pan sensors are available as either mechanical or electronic switches. Talk to an HVAC professional to determine which one is best for your circumstances and to have a sensor installed.

In some cases, drip pans can leak water out of the unit due to corrosion rather than overflow. In this case, the pan may need to be replaced before you install a sensor. While some drip pans can be replaced easily by the owner, others tend to be considerably less accessible. Primary drip pans are often welded to the coil, and the AC drip pan located beneath the unit requires some effort to access. This jobs should be left to certified HVAC professionals. Contact Casteel Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Plumbing to discuss how to best protect your home from water damage from your drip pan.