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Why Is the Air Filter Wet in Your HVAC System?

It’s not out of the ordinary to encounter a clogged air filter, but a soggy one? Chances are there’s something going on with your HVAC system. If you find yourself dealing with a wet air filter, here’s a quick guide on how to fix the problem.

What Causes a Wet Filter?

A wet air filter is usually one of the end products of a condensation leak. Moisture condensed into liquid form usually lands on the drip pan below the evaporator coil, which funnels the liquid towards a drain and away from the HVAC system.

Unfortunately, the drain line can get clogged up with dirt, debris or even algae growth. With nowhere to go, the condensate backs up in the drip pan until it overflows, resulting in a wet floor or, in some cases, a soaked air filter.

What to Do About It

Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to fix this surprisingly common problem:

  • Remove the wet air filter and clean up the surrounding area. Make sure it’s completely dry before installing a new air filter.
  • Next, inspect both the drip pan and the drain itself. Make sure the drip pan isn’t cracked and that the drain is free of any obstructions.
  • If you see dirt, debris or algae growth, carefully scrub it away using a mild detergent and a sponge or a soft bristle brush. If the drain is clogged, use a wire hanger or a small drain snake to carefully clear out the blockage.

Regularly scheduled maintenance as performed by your HVAC contractor can help prevent this and other problems from occurring. It’s a good idea to have your HVAC system inspected before the cooling season starts and again prior to the heating season.

To learn more about fixing and preventing a wet air filter, check out the latest in indoor air quality solutions from Air Experts, or call us at 919-480-2727. We’ve proudly served Durham, Chapel Hill and Wake Forest since 1986.

Image via Flickr by KOMUnews

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