What Is An AC Float Switch?

ac float switch

Most people understand that an air conditioning unit cools by removing heat from the air. However, many do not know that as part of this process an AC will also act as a dehumidifier and remove moisture from the air. As the air conditioner dehumidifies, some moisture remains behind the AC unit before it exits through the drain line. AC units are also equipped with a drain pan where excess moisture collects if the drain line clogs or cannot remove moisture quickly. On a humid day, or if your AC is not properly working, you might notice the drain pan overflowing. If there is even minor water overflow, it can lead to mold or microbial growth putting you and your system at risk overtime. To prevent potential catastrophic damage, install an ac float switch.

What Is an AC Float Switch?

The purpose of an HVAC float switch, also known as a condensate overflow switch or AC safety switch, is to prevent the drip pan from overflowing if the AC drain stops working properly. The AC float switch gives your AC unit the ability to detect if there is clogged drain line to shut the AC off. Both drain lines and drain pans, like the rest of your HVAC equipment require periodic maintenance to keep water flowing freely. However, every now and then, especially due to lack of maintenance the drain lines will clog with debris or dirt and will no longer remove water effectively. The float switch is activated when the water in the pan goes above a certain point causing the switch device to float. As it begins to float it will send a signal to the AC unit to turn off thus stopping the creation of condensation. If your AC is not working,the safety switch is preventing the AC unit from turning on to prevent pan overflow and potentially major water damage to your home.

Where is the Float Switch Located?

AC float switches can easily be installed at a low cost compared to the high cost of repairing high cost water damage. If you do not already have one installed, highly consider one as a simple precaution to protect your home. The float switch location depends on the orientation of your HVAC equipment. For horizontal units the float switch will be located in the secondary drain pan. For horizontal units without a secondary drain pan or vertical units, the float switch will be on the drainpipe. If your HVAC equipment has a condensate pump, these pumps are also equipped with a mechanism that works the same way as a float switch and will shut your equipment off if needed.

Float Switch Benefits

When the AC system is shut off, this is going to of course make your indoor temperature rise and you’ll know its time to call for ac repair. The reason for the safety switch triggering your AC unit to turn off, will be addressed and soon you will have a working ac again. Float switches are great and can help save you money on potentially catastrophic water damage to your home or furnishings. A professional HVAC technician will choose the right float switch for your system and wire it properly to the furnace control board. Always hire a professional to avoid potentially injuring yourself or installing the safety switch improperly. The switch installation is a low price to pay for peace of mind knowing your home is safe.

·        Helps prevent water damage and save you money. One of the most important advantages of a safety switch is that it eliminates the opportunity for overflow to cause water damage to your home. A leaky drain pan or clogged condensate drain line can lead to more damage than you can imagine. It may cause thousands of dollars in structural damage or damage to your AC unit as well. When the switch is triggered, it shuts the compressor off and stops the condensation process.

·        Prevent dangerous mold or microbial growth. Areas that collect moisture are always susceptible to mold growth. Any leaking moisture that goes unnoticed can lead to microbial spores growing and spreading to other nearby areas in your home. Mold can endanger the health of those who breathe it in. Installing an AC float switch,you can help prevent dangerous mold or microbial growth and create a much healthier indoor air quality.

·        Low Installation Cost. If your air conditioner does not come equipped with a safety switch, on can be easily installed by an HVAC professional at a reasonable cost.

·        Low Potential For Other Components to Fail. By Installing a safety switch, it is less likely that other system components will fail.

Float Switch Installation

Many local jurisdictions require the installation of float switches at the time of new installations. However, for older units, we always recommend installing one to save money, prevent damage and keep healthy indoor air quality. They are the most effective device to combat overflow and any issues that may arise as a result. Contact LA Construction Heating and Air today at 818-341-3406 or contact us online. We can install a safety switch or help with any other ac repair or ac service you many need.

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