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How To Find The Condensation Drain On A Window AC?

How To Find The Condensation Drain On A Window AC?

When it comes to cooling or heating your home, window air conditioners are an ideal choice. However, if you’ve recently installed one and are unsure where the drain hole is, it can be a challenge to unclog it during regular maintenance. To assist you in locating the condensation drain, we have conducted thorough research and compiled the necessary information.

In the case of older air conditioners, you will find condensation drain holes on the sides or underneath, whereas newer models typically lack any drain holes.

Continue reading to discover the whereabouts of the condensate drains in a window AC. This post will explain why it’s important to know the location of the drain, provide tips for maintaining your AC to extend its lifespan, and outline the costs associated with fixing a faulty condensate drain.

Locating The Condensate Drain In Your Window Air Conditioner

How To Find The Condensation Drain On A Window AC?

Some window air conditioners feature condensate drains, while others do not. You may find drain holes on the sides or underneath the unit, usually positioned in the center.

Older Window Air Conditioners

Drain holes in older window air conditioners are connected to a drain hose. These condensate lines can be found underneath the AC units. If you cannot locate the drain hole within your unit, follow the hose until you find the hole. Alternatively, if your unit lacks a drain hose, the dripping water can lead you back to its source.

Modern Window Air Conditioners

Many modern window ACs do not possess drain holes like their older counterparts. Instead, they have a pan at the base of the AC where condensation collects. The fan blade inside the unit has a slinger ring attached to it. As the water level rises, the rotating blade picks up water and hurls it against the condenser coils.

This mechanism aids in reducing the temperature inside the AC, thereby enhancing its efficiency. However, if the water level becomes too high, it will start dripping from the back of the unit. To facilitate this, the AC should be installed with a slight tilt, allowing the condensation to drain outward from the unit’s rear.

Ensuring Proper Drainage In Your Window AC

It is crucial to ensure that water drains effectively from your window AC to prevent damage caused by water accumulation inside the unit. Here are some methods to ensure proper drainage:

  1. Unclog Drain Holes: Sometimes, drain holes may become obstructed, impeding the flow of water. Use a bottle brush or a long piece of wire to clear the hole. Prior to starting, remember to switch off the AC from the electrical outlet.
  2. Tilt the AC at an Angle: Tilting the unit outward from the window helps maintain continuous drainage. If your unit is on an upper floor, seek assistance to minimize the risk of it falling.
  3. Unplug the Drain Hole: Only unplug the drain hole when the drain pan is full and you want the water to drain out.
  4. Use a Wick to Drain Water: This method involves placing a piece of cloth, gauze, or similar absorbent material into the pan to soak up water. The soaked material will cause the water to drip outward. You can redirect the dripping water to a potted plant instead of letting it flow onto the ground.
  5. Drill a Hole: While not recommended due to warranty concerns, you can drill a hole in your unit. If permitted by the manual, you can enlarge an existing hole or add a new one. Ensure the hole is sufficiently large to avoid clogging from dirt and debris.
  6. Open Up the AC Unit: Opening up your unit can facilitate better drainage.
  • Uninstall the unit and place it on a flat, clean surface.
  • Remove the outer casing.
  • Cover the fan motor and switches with a cloth.
  • Tilt the unit slightly to allow water to flow away from electrical components.
  • Use a low-pressure stream to remove dirt stuck on the coils.
  • Unscrew or unclip the base pan to release it.
  • Spray water on the pan and clean it using a cloth. Replace the pan if it has excessive rust.
  • Locate two small tubes running from the front of the pan, beneath the evaporator, to the rear, where condensation is released. Use a suitable brush to remove any clogs from these tubes.

Reassemble the air conditioner by attaching the base pan and casing. Reinstall it in the window, ensuring proper tilt and secure mounting. Allow the unit to rest for a day or two without use to ensure complete drying, including the internal components.

Maintaining Your Window AC

Since you likely made a significant investment in your window AC, it’s essential to take good care of it for prolonged service. Here are some maintenance tips:

How To Find The Condensation Drain On A Window AC?
  1. Clean the Filter: Regularly clean the filter to prevent dust and debris accumulation, which can hinder optimal operation. Clean it every two weeks and replace it every three to four months if heavily rusted.
  2. Clean the Fins: Over time, the fins located at the front and back of the coils can become clogged with dust and debris, creating a favorable environment for mold growth. To clean the fins, remove the unit from the window and spray them with a soapy water solution. Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes, then gently loosen the dirt using a soft brush. Straighten any bent fins using a fin comb.
  3. Clean the Drain Pan and Fans: Check if the drain pan has a clogged drain hole and unclog it if necessary. Additionally, dirt can accumulate on the fans. Spray a detergent solution to clean them and ensure electrical components are adequately sealed to prevent water damage.

Repair Costs for Your Window AC

How To Find The Condensation Drain On A Window AC?

On average, repairing an air conditioner costs around $300. Replacing a condensate drain tube typically costs $20, while replacing the drain pan can range from $250 to $575. Professional technicians may charge between $50 and $100.


Older window air conditioners feature drain holes for condensate drainage, whereas newer models rely on pans and fan blades to circulate the water onto the coils, improving efficiency. Implementing various methods ensures water drains effectively from your unit, preventing damage caused by stagnant water in the drain pan. Remember to maintain your air conditioner appropriately to ensure optimal performance.

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Written by HVAC Contributor

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