The inside unit of a central air conditioning system is called the evaporator, which sits on top of a shallow metal tray called a drip pan. The purpose of the drip pan is to catch condensation from the evaporator coils and drain the water down a tube to the outside of the home. If you have heavy condensation, the pan may stay wet constantly, which will create algae and slime. You can prevent this with regular preventative maintenance.
Things You'll Need
- No-rinse evaporator coil cleaner
- Non-abrasive sponge
- AC condensate pan cleaner tablet
Locate the metal door on the outside of the unit and lift it up and out to remove it. Some units are attached with screws you must remove before pulling off the door. If there is a filter in the evaporator, remove it as well. These units are typically installed in attics or in access panels within walls.
Put on disposable gloves and shake up a can of no-rinse evaporator coil cleaner, which is available at janitorial supply companies. Aim it toward the bottom of the unit near the drip pan and spray as much of the pan as possible.
Insert a thin, non-abrasive sponge under the unit and wipe as far as you can into the drip pan to remove the slime. You won't be able to reach the center of the pan, but that's alright because the cleaner will kill the slime there.
Drop two condensate pan cleaner tablets into the drip pan on either side of the unit. These tablets have an anti-fungal ingredient that prevents new slime from forming as condensation enters the drip pan. Replace the tablets every six months, as they dissolve over time.
Replace the filter and the door on the side of the evaporator unit.
Tips & Warnings
- You do not have to rinse off the cleaner you spray on the evaporator coils.
How to Replace the Drip Pan in a Central Air Conditioner
Drip pans, also called condensate pans, are placed under the air conditioner coils to catch any condensation that forms. There are two...
How to Remove the Drain Pan on a Maytag Refrigerator
If you start to notice water under your refrigerator, it may be time to empty the drain pan. The drain pan in...
How to Clean a Carrier Evaporator Coil
Carrier air conditioners are designed for residential or commercial use and pull warm air into the main unit, passing the air through...
How to Kill Slime in an Air Conditioner
Air conditioners work by compressing a gas coolant into a liquid that goes through several coils. Fans push air over the coils,...
Window AC Unit Mold Prevention
Installing a window air conditioner can be effective yet inexpensive way to keep your home cool on even the hottest summer day,...