Residential Central Air Conditioner Condensate Use

Asked August 2, 2016, 11:29 PM EDT

Is it safe to use residential air conditioner condensate effluent water on edible herbs and vegetables? Thank you, A Montgomery County PA Gardener

Montgomery County Pennsylvania water air conditioner condensate

1 Response

This should be considered grey water, and used on no-edible plants. A question from Texas on this was answered previously:

AC condensate is basically distilled water, and the moment that is condenses on the coils in your air conditioner. At that moment it is free of all dissolved materials.

After that it runs across the outside of the copper coils, that are usually assembled with lead based solder, into a (probably) an open galvanized collection pan, where bacterial and dust can accumulate, then out of the pan down a copper, flexible plastic or PVC pipe to where ever it is discharged.

Texas A&M Extension has done work with rainwater and AC condensate collection to help deal with drought. In fact several buildings have been outfitted to use the AC condensate for landscape irrigation. It is also commercially recommended in large buildings in humid climate where large amounts of water might be generated. Generally it is considered "grey water", since I the collection mechanism is not regularly cleaned and serviced.

http://water.tamu.edu/water-resources-homeowners/

http://urbanlandscapeguide.tamu.edu/irrigation1.html

Thanks,G.