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What Is an AC Float Switch?

Closeup of an AC float switch

As long as your AC unit keeps you cool, you probably don't give much thought to the inner workings of this system. However, when something goes awry, it's important to understand what's happening to know when to call for help. Your air conditioning unit is an intricate system of parts, each of which plays a vital role in the system's overall functioning. The better you understand the inner mechanisms of this system, the more prepared you'll be to address any issues that arise.

The float switch is one of the most essential components of an AC unit. It functions as a vital safety mechanism that keeps costly water damage and mold growth at bay. Without a properly functioning float switch, your AC drain pan might overflow, which can damage your unit as well as the room it's in. If you're unsure exactly how a float switch works, here's what we'll discuss in this guide.

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What Is an AC Float Switch?

A float switch is a small device located inside your air conditioner's drain pan. You may also know this device as a condensate float switch or safety switch. While it's cooling your home, your AC unit produces moisture in the form of condensation. The main goal of the float switch is to monitor your air conditioner's water levels and prevent the drain pan from overflowing. If water levels rise too high, the switch will automatically shut off the AC system as a safety mechanism.

Why Are AC Float Switches Important?

There are numerous benefits of installing a float switch inside your AC system. We'll explore them below.

Prevent Water Damage

One of the key advantages is a lower risk of water damage. Because the switch automatically prevents your AC drain pan from overflowing, it plays a crucial role in keeping serious water damage at bay.

Avoid Mold Growth

Similarly, excess moisture can cause mold to develop over time. Mold growth poses a health hazard to you and your loved ones and can also be a costly problem to fix. Guarding against water and mold damage can help you cut down on repair costs in the long run.

Preserve HVAC System Efficiency

AC float switches are also vital to the functioning of your air conditioner. By keeping your AC unit's water level from rising too high, the float switch helps preserve the efficiency of your system. This keeps your energy costs down on a long-term basis.

Enhance System Lifespan

Likewise, a more efficient unit is designed to last longer. As a result, a float switch can even extend the overall lifespan of your air conditioner. This will allow you to get more use out of it in the long run.

Installation & Maintenance Tips

To get the most out of your AC float switch and use it to its full potential, you need to ensure that you have it installed properly. Routine maintenance is also essential to keeping your float switch running smoothly all season long without compromising the performance of your system.

We highly recommend contacting a professional HVAC technician to install the switch safely and accurately. Attempting to install this device on your own can put you at risk of injuring yourself. In addition, without proper training, you may accidentally install the safety switch improperly. Not only does this waste precious time, but it also increases the repair costs needed to fix your mistake. Recruiting a professional will help give you peace of mind that everything will be installed properly.

Once your float switch has been successfully installed, be sure to schedule AC maintenance regularly. As a rule of thumb, it's best to call for a tune-up at least once a year. However, if you're experiencing any specific issues with your air conditioner, don't delay contacting an expert at any time. Promptly getting things up and running again will help you avoid severe damage.

Keep each part of your air conditioner in optimal condition.

No matter what HVAC problems you're facing, our seasoned pros are always equipped to get the job done. Reach out to us today to schedule an AC tune-up.

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