Why Your Furnace May Be Leaking

November 21, 2019 12:56 am Published by Leave your thoughts

There may come a time when you notice some water around the base of your furnace. It’s understandable to be confused, as you probably aren’t going to associate the use of water with a furnace. The moisture leakage isn’t because there’s actual water inside the furnace, but rather that furnaces can produce a fair amount of condensation during their operation.

The average high-efficiency furnace—one that has an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of at least 90 percent—will have cool exhaust, and the combination of heated air with the cool exhaust can result in condensation forming in the unit. If you’re unsure whether or not you have a high-efficiency furnace, you can look at the owner’s manual or check the vent pipe—high-efficiency furnaces generally have white PVC vent pipes.

Here’s what you should know about furnace condensation and managing your furnace leaking in Bridgeport, CT.

Dealing with your furnace condensation

Usually any condensation that forms in a high-efficiency gas furnace will be diverted to the floor drain. However, leaks could arise in the system for a variety of reasons, causing the water to gather elsewhere, such as around the base of the furnace. You might have clogs in the condensation tubing, or breaks somewhere in the line. The floor drain could also be clogged, resulting in the condensation water having nowhere to go.

Keep in mind that this should only be an issue with high-efficiency furnaces. Standard-efficiency furnaces (they’ll have metal exhaust pipes) should not have condensation. If you do see condensation forming in a standard-efficiency furnace, this means you likely have an improperly sized drain pipe, which is causing the hot exhaust to cool down too much to the point where it’s condensing inside the pipe. When this happens, the condensation will drain down into the furnace and then leak out wherever it can.

Other potential problems

While furnace condensation is the most common cause of water leaks in a furnace, there are a few other potential issues that could be at fault.

There’s a possibility you’re having problems with a secondary heat exchanger, which can be a very expensive fix as it could require you to completely replace your furnace. There’s also the potential that the problem lies with a humidifier, which could be leaking water down into your furnace. You can stay on top of both of those issues by scheduling annual HVAC service appointments with a professional technician who will carefully inspect all parts of the system.

In some cases, the air conditioning unit might share an internal drain with the furnace, meaning the issue could actually be with the air conditioner, rather than with the furnace.

Whatever the problem, it’s crucial to get it resolved as soon as possible, because lingering moisture can damage your HVAC system and potentially lead to mold growth. For more information about ongoing furnace maintenance in Bridgeport, CT, contact the team at BLM Refrigeration Heating & Air Conditioning today. We look forward to helping you get to the bottom of any issues you’re experiencing.

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