old window air conditioner unit in window of blue house

Air conditioners can be a bit of a mystery to many people. They fit snugly into a window, blast cool, refreshing air into your home, and beyond that, can seem like an enigma. With that in mind, a common question people ask is where are the drain holes on a window air conditioner? There are a few reasons you should know where the drain holes are and what they do. To understand your window air conditioner a little bit better, we’re here to (quite literally) clear the air as to answer where are the drain holes on a window air conditioner, what they do and what minor maintenance they may need.

What Are the Drain Holes in an Air Conditioner?

Air conditioners cool the air but use a freezing coil that the air from outside is run through. When the air runs over the evaporator that cools it, it creates condensation from the rapid temperature change. Of course, no one wants this water leaking into your home, so it has to drain out somewhere.

You guessed it, the water from this condensation leaves out of the drain holes to keep the air conditioner running to keep your space cool and comfortable.

You may notice that when you remove your air conditioner at the end of the warm months, it drips a little bit of water all over you. And sometimes it spills a lot of water all over you. This is the water that was working its way out of the drain holes. To avoid this in the future, turn off your air conditioner for at least a full day before removing it from the window.

Where Are the Drain Holes on a Window Air Conditioner?

The drain holes are typically located on the bottom of the window unit on the external part that hangs out the window. The water drains to the outside, so you don’t need to worry about it. The holes can vary in size but are almost always located in the same spot on the unit.

A newer window unit holds onto the water in a pan and uses it to refresh the air and continue to cool it. Older units don’t utilize this extra water, and it just drains out of the drain holes at the bottom of the unit.

The holes are smaller on older units and can become clogged. While on new window units, the holes are much larger even though they don’t drain as much water since they store some of it.

Importance of Air Conditioner Drain Holes

where are the drain holes on a window air conditioner

Drain holes are vital in the efficiency of the air conditioner. Without them, your house would either be a mess or the unit won’t be able to effectively cool your space. The holes allow your air conditioner to expel the excess water and run continuously.

If the holes weren’t there, air conditioners would frequently shut off, and people would need to empty some sort of tray that the water fills up in.

Tips For Maintaining Air Conditioner Drain Holes

If your unit doesn’t seem to be working as well as it normally does, there are some tricks for getting it back on track and making your space comfortable again.

Help the Water Drain

You can help the water drain by carefully holding onto the unit while opening the window. It is a good idea to have someone help you, especially if you live on the second floor or higher. It can create a dangerous situation trying to do this on your own.

Open the window while holding the window air conditioner and slightly tilt it, so that it leans out the window more. Tilting the air conditioner will help push the water out of the unit and towards the drain holes.

Unclog Holes

Sometimes the durian holes can become clogged with gunk from the outdoors. Unclogging the holes is super simple to fix. Use something long and thin, whether it’s a pipe cleaner, an unfolded clothing hanger, or whatever you have laying around.

Insert the tool into the hole and move it back and forth until the water drains from it smoothly.

Turn it Off

Turning the unit off is only necessary for older units that may not be working as well as you want them to. Shutting off the window unit whenever you can, will give the water more time to drain out. It will stop the unit from overfilling with water.

Bottom Line

Knowing these simple facts about your air conditioner can help you better take care of it so you can have a comfortable atmosphere in your home. The drain holes are an integral part of the successful functioning of a window air conditioner.

Ensuring your unit is expelling water is a great way to keep it running smoothly and prevent problems that result in a hot and humid environment in your home.