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Home maintenance expert shares simple trick to flush out buildup in AC drain line: 'Clear out all the gunk and the funk'

"That's all there is to it."

"That’s all there is to it."

Photo Credit: TikTok

The warm summer days ahead often cause people to reach for their thermostats. Help keep your AC unit running smoothly with this quick and easy home hack.

The scoop

TikToker HomeTips4You (@hometips4you) advises that people should clean their AC lines once a month. Using only one household item, HomeTips4You shows how to "Clear out all the gunk and the funk within that AC drain line" cheaply and easily.

@hometips4you Clear out all the gunk and the funk within that AC drain line with just a little bit of white vinegar! #hometips #hometipsforyou #hometips4you #hvac #hvaclife #diy #viral #viralvideos #youcandoit #follow #like ♬ Funk It Up - Official Sound Studio

To try this hack at home, first turn off the thermostat. Then, pour a quarter cup of distilled white vinegar into the AC drain line. Let the vinegar sit for half an hour, then flush it out with warm water. Once that's done, turn your thermostat back on, and resume use of your AC unit. 

Like HomeTips4You said, "That's all there is to it."

How it's working

By performing regular maintenance on your AC unit, you can keep it running properly for longer, putting off the need to pay a professional to fix it which can be costly. An annual AC maintenance visit can cost anywhere from $75 to $200 already, but it will cost more if additional work needs to be done.

Keeping your AC unit running smoothly also keeps your electricity bill down. When an AC system becomes dirty, the airflow can be obstructed causing the unit to work harder, which raises your power bill.

Less energy consumption is also helpful for the environment. Another way to help your AC unit use less energy is to regularly change the filter. According to Energy.gov, replacing your system's dirty filter with a clean one can reduce energy consumption by 5-15%.

There are many other actions you can take to lower your home's energy consumption, including switching to energy-efficient appliances, weatherizing your house, and utilizing natural light. Making these simple changes can have a big impact by reducing the amount of dirty energy burned which leads to lower carbon pollution for our planet.

Companies like WattBuy and Arcadia are helping consumers create energy-saving plans for their homes and reduce their carbon impact. Tesla is also creating energy-saving options for consumers' homes. 

For information on taking your plans a step further and updating to a smart home, check out TCD's guide here.

What people are saying

TikTokers following HomeTips4You were intrigued by the hack and had follow-up questions.

One user asked, "How often do you do this?"

Another wanted to know, "What if there isn't [a] vertical [pvc] pipe that's by [the] HVAC unit?"

The original poster and home maintenance expert responded with, "If there isn't [an] opening to the AC drainline you may just want to get in the routine of unclogging your system at least twice a year."

Other commenters reached out for help as well, wanting to get to work on their AC units.

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