How To Reuse the Water From the Air Conditioner

Have you noticed that the air conditioner expels water? Don't waste it! Today, we'll tell you how to take advantage of it for other functions in your home.
How To Reuse the Water From the Air Conditioner

Last update: 10 September, 2021

If you have split-system air conditioning in your home, it’s likely that, at some point, you’ve encountered a puddle in some area around your home. Your appliance has a drain through which it expels water. This is normal and is caused by a process of evaporation. In this article, we’ll tell you how to use this water from the air conditioner for other purposes around your home.

Water is a precious commodity for mankind and indispensable for life. Therefore, it’s essential to use it wisely at home.

Turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth or soaping up, fixing plumbing damage, minimizing waste when washing dishes and clothes, and recycling water are some actions that can make significant changes.

According to information from the United Nations, nearly 2 billion people live in countries that suffer from water scarcity. Also, water sources are increasingly polluted. This makes it necessary to preserve this vital element, and one way is to take advantage of the water from the air conditioning rather than discarding it.

Why does water come out of the air conditioner?

Air conditioning works through mechanisms that cool the air. To do so, it generates a process of evaporation and condensation, which, as a result, expels water droplets.

We’re referring specifically to air conditioners that are split-type, which consist of two machines: one that’s installed inside the house and cools the air, and a condenser that expels the hot air outside.

To extract the heat from the house, there’s a refrigerant that changes from liquid to gas. With the support of fans, it produces cold air inside the house. At the same time, the air conditioning machine condenses the ambient humidity in the home and expels it in the form of water droplets through a drain.

Although this process is normal, not all drips are. Ideally, the machine should only expel water through the unit’s drain, where you can collect it.

However, clogged drains, dirty filters, or unlevel internal supports can cause unwanted drips, especially in the indoor unit.

A person removing the filters from their split air conditioner.
A dirty or damaged filter can produce unwanted drips inside the home, increasing water waste.

Continue reading: 10 Tips to Take Care of the Environment at Home

What uses can be given to the water from the air conditioner?

The water that’s expelled by the air conditioner isn’t suitable for consumption by humans or pets, as it may contain impurities from the air. Especially if you smoke at home, there are many insects, or there’s a lot of pollen. However, given the need to protect this vital resource, it can still be put to good use.

Reusing water has benefits for the environment and also for your household economy. Before using it, it is important to analyze its condition. Generally, it is clean water. However, if your machine broke down or there are circumstances of contamination, it may come out a little cloudy.

An air conditioning machine produces between 4 cups and 1.3 gallons per hour, depending on the humidity conditions of the environment. This means that you could collect up to 2 gallons of water per day.

Watering the plants

At the University of Magdalena in Santa Marta, Colombia, research was conducted to determine the potential use of water from air conditioning systems. The findings determined that, according to international standards, the physical and chemical characteristics were suitable for reuse, although it wasn’t potable.

Consequently, its quality makes it suitable for the irrigation of plants and orchards, without causing any harm to their growth. Moreover, it can be better than tap water. Collecting this water is a great idea for the dry months.

Use water from the air conditioner for household cleaning

Water leftover from air conditioning is perfect for use in household cleaning. While it may not be the best choice for washing clothes or dishes, it can be used for mopping floors and washing the mop. It’s also useful for bathrooms, window panes, and exterior facades.

Flushing the toilet

Each flush in the toilet uses between 1 and 2 gallons of water, especially when you don’t have a water-saving system. However, the water from the air conditioner can work here as well. In this case, it’s important to have a full bucket to be efficient.

Washing the car

No matter how much you intend to reduce water consumption in your home, from time to time, you need to wash your car to protect the paint and remove the mud that causes a sloppy appearance. A great option is to use the water stored in the air conditioning drain.

Use water from the air conditioner in your iron

The water that comes out of the air conditioner is perfect for use in steam-powered irons. Since it doesn’t contain limescale, it won’t leave stains on clothes and won’t clog the appliance’s ducts.

A person turning on their air conditioner.
Air conditioners can produce over 1 gallon of water per hour, which could have everyday uses.

Perform frequent maintenance on your air conditioning system

Harnessing water from air conditioning has a positive impact on the environment. It allows you to mitigate the impact of your water footprint, an indicator that shows the amount of water you use and pollute.

However, it’s also important that you perform maintenance on your air conditioning system to ensure that the water produced and the energy consumed is adequate. This maintenance should be done twice a year and should include cleaning or changing the filters, cleaning the drain to prevent clogging, and checking the circuit.

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