Inspect and clean your evaporator coil and drain pan.

HealthyHouseTM CleanAir Tip

Evaporator coil mounted above furnace

Evaporator coil mounted above furnace

Heating Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC) equipment should be inspected and maintained routinely. A neglected system can lead to poor indoor air quality.

The evaporator coil is a major component of a forced-air HVAC system. It is typically located right above the furnace. The evaporator coil works in conjunction with the condensing unit to extract heat from the air and cool it.

When your system is running to heat or cool the house, air flows through the evaporator coil and to the rooms in your house. Since the air you breathe is constantly being cycled through the evaporator coil, it is essential that it is clean and working properly.

Condensate naturally forms on the evaporator coil when air passes through it. The condensate drips into the drain pan and drains out of the HVAC system. The drain is usually routed via flex tubing or PVC pipe to a condensate pump or floor drain.

The evaporator coil and drain pan collect dust and are continuously getting wet which make them great locations for mold and bacteria to grow. The evaporator coil or drain pan can become microbially contaminated. Mold spores and bacteria can be spread through the house.

Make sure to inspect these areas routinely. Drain pans can become clogged or disconnected, leaking into the furnace and onto the floor. If this happens rust and corrosion can occur in the furnace leading to other problems.

The evaporator coil and drain pan should be cleaned using a non-toxic disinfectant to prevent microbial growth. All drain pipes, tubes, and condensate pumps connected to the evaporator coil should also be thoroughly cleaned as well.