Reclaiming Air Conditioning Condensate

Water is very expensive where we live.  I estimate our cost per gallon to be about twice that of my parents that only live about an hour away.  So naturally anything I can think up that could save a significant amount of water is worth looking into.

It’s summer here, and it’s hot.  Hot and muggy.  If you’ve ever lived somewhere that the humidity levels frequently ping 100%, you know that humidity is actually what makes you sluggish, angry, and terribly uncomfortable, not necessarily the heat itself.  We upgraded our entire HVAC system a few years ago, and one of the improvements is a humidity sensor built into the thermostat.  So not only is it attempting to control the indoor temperature, but also periodically pulling moisture put of the air.


My previous solution was to put a gallon sized container underneath the condensation drip outside the house. I usually used this water to water the garden. However, I would often come outside to find that the container had overflowed. I was not sure exactly how much water I was losing, so I wondered, what would happen if I tried to use a larger container to catch the water? Unfortunately, there was no way to do this outside. So, the solution was to add a t-fitting to the pipe on the inside in the laundry room and capture the water there.


I think it took my husband all of three minutes (with our handy dandy PVC pipe cutter) to attach the fitting to the pipe. We also made sure to keep a plug nearby in case we will leave the house for a while and can’t empty it.  I estimate in this weather we’re getting about 6 gallons a day, which of course means we have to empty this 5 gallon bucket multiple times.  To give you an idea of just how fast this system is accumulating water, I shot a short video of it running at full tilt:

It’s hard to see, but definitely not hard to hear.  Just the other day I offset the entire first fill of my top loading washing machine, so I know it was worth it.  Now to see how that water bill comes out…

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