How To Clean Your Aircon Drain – Ultimate Guide

Aircons are no short of a blessing in the scorching heat and dry weather. They offer comfort and a break from the dry conditions and allow us to spend our time in cool air without worrying about external conditions.

But this effect can only be achieved by having an aircon performing at its maximum impact, which is only possible when all the aircon components are working at the top of their game, especially the drain pipes. Clogged drain pipes can easily mess up the air conditioner’s airflow and can decrease the overall performance and the cooling effect.

What Is The Aircon Drain And Why Does It Need Cleaning

An aircon works by removing hot air from inside the room and replacing it with cool air. It also removes the extra moisture from the air and expels it to the outside through the drain line connected with it to remove the condensed air, which is in the form of water.

This drain line thus is the water outflow system of the aircon unit, and any damage to it or the production of any clog causes it to overflow with water, with the water returning to the condensation pan and damaging the unit.

The problem with drain lines is that most are present on the outside to dispel the water to the outside environment. This makes them susceptible to the harsh conditions outside, including moulds and fungi, hot weather, bacteria and algae.

All of these can cause the production of clogs inside the aircon drain and can obstruct the outflow of water. The outside drains thus need proper maintenance to allow them to function well and remove the moisture effectively. Without a good cleaning habit of the drain pipe, you expose the aircon unit to many function problems.

Signs Of Clogged Drain Pipes

Some undeniable signs indicate the drain pipes’ clogging and the aircon unit’s decreasing performance. The most important of these is the build-up of water inside the aircon unit and the pipe leading outside. If the aircon starts to drip water, there is a good chance that the drain system is not working well, and you need to look at the problem.

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The condensation pan is another area where water build-up shows a draining problem. This build-up occurs when the water in the drain is not removed to the outside and backs up into the condensation pan, and causes problems.

An unpleasant odour from the aircon unit can also mean a condensation of water inside the unit or the drain pipe, and moulds and fungi thrive there. In this case, the obstruction must be cleared, and the fungus must be cleaned to prevent future problems.

Clean Your Aircon Drain

How To Clean Your Aircon Drain – Step By Step Guide

Here are the steps you need to follow to effectively clean your drain line and allow your aircon unit to perform at the top of its game. You will need some clean clothes and a vinegar solution since vinegar is shown to remove any clog in the drain. Once you have these things ready, follow these steps to clean your drain pipe:

  1. Switch off the aircon unit and the thermostat and kill off the circuit breaker.
  2. Take a look at the aircon unit and find the PVC pipe. Follow this pipe to the end, leading you to a drain pipe connected at its end. This aircon drain line will attach to the outside through a wall or a window.
  3. The drain lines have access points to the inside; you will need to look for these. Clogs are primarily located in T-shaped tees which have a cover over them. Remove this cover to look for any clogs here. If there is a clog present, remove it.
  4. To further clean the drain, add vinegar to the exposed area. Vinegar takes some time to act; wait at least 30 minutes before rewashing the pipe with clean water. If you want better cleaning results, you can also leave the vinegar inside for longer.
  5. Use clean water to remove the vinegar and any dissociated clogs. Run water through the drain pipe and see if it drains properly. Someone should be standing outside to see the water coming out.


Now you know about the clogs in drain pipes and the appropriate steps to remove them. Ensuring the aircon drains are clean will solve most of the aircon problems and allow you to use the aircon to its total capacity. Whenever you clean the drains, any other parts, or the aircon, wear protective equipment like gloves and masks. Enjoy the summer, and have a nice day.

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