There are times when an air conditioning system simply stops working. One of the most common causes of such shutdowns is air conditioner water leaks. And since dust accumulation is a common cause of air conditioner water leaks, you are likely dealing with a dust problem. Here is what you should know.
Dust accumulation and condensate drainage system clogging
When dust particles get into an air conditioning system, they usually settle on the surface of its parts. The air conditioner's evaporator coil surface is a common place on which they usually settle.
In air conditioners, cooling takes place in the evaporator coil area. One of the effects of this process is condensation. Any water that is formed in this area usually ends up washing dust particles off the surface of the coils and into the air conditioner's condensate drainage tray.
The introduction of dust particles into an air conditioner's drainage system is a problem since the system isn't designed to handle solids. It usually leads to the clogging of both the condensate tray's opening and the system's drain lines. This then leads to air conditioner flooding that trips the condensate overflow switch. This is what causes the air conditioning system to shut down.
Dust accumulation and evaporator coil icing
When dust accumulates on the surface of an air conditioner's air filters, it can block the pores of the filters. This is a problem since it restricts the amount of air that the filters can let into the air conditioning system. And since the operation of the evaporator coil usually depends on the delicate balance between heat absorption rates and heat availability rates, restricted airflow that results from filter clogging is bound to affect the functioning of the evaporator coil. One of the most common effects of this is evaporator coil icing.
The problem with evaporator coil icing is that it allows the air conditioner to hold more moisture than it should. And when environmental temperatures rise and the ice starts to melt, the resulting on-rush of melted ice is usually enough to overwhelm the condensate drainage system of the air conditioner. It usually leads to the condensate collector tray overflowing with water. Any water that leaks from the tray then finds its way to the condensate overflow tray. Continued leaks eventually cause the water levels in the condensate overflow tray to rise to such a point that it forces the condensate overflow switch to shut down the air conditioning system.
Both of these cases can be avoided by simply cleaning your air filters. Regularly replacing the filters will also help to prevent any of these complications.