Coming home to a leaking furnace is never a good sign. Although a leaking furnace is a definite cause of concern, there are several reasons your furnace might be leaking, with some of them being more serious than others. For this reason, it’s best to hire a certified professional heating and cooling technician in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, to take a look at your furnace and determine why it’s leaking.
It’s very important to note that a leaking furnace can quickly escalate to a major problem. Therefore, you want to ensure that this problem is addressed on time. Here are some of the possible causes of a leaking furnace.
One of the biggest reasons your furnace might be leaking is a condensation leak. This is usually the case if you have a high-efficiency furnace. This is because such a furnace extracts heat from the combustion gases for a relatively longer period compared to a standard-efficiency furnace. This causes the gases to cool and then condense.
The condensation is usually flown out using a PVC pipe that is attached to the furnace and routed to the floor drain. You can simply think of this condensate as a byproduct of the natural gas burning inside the furnace. If the cause of the leaking furnace is condensation, then there are a few reasons this might be happening.
For instance, if the condensation drainpipe or tubing is clogged, the water will find a way outside the furnace. One way might be through the furnace itself, which is a major issue. On the other hand, standard-efficiency furnaces are not supposed to leak any water since they’re designed differently.
However, if a standard-efficiency furnace is over 15 years old, it might also start leaking as a result of an incorrectly sized flue pipe which might be forcing the water to drain back into the furnace. If this is the case, you need to call a professional HVAC repair team as soon as possible to assess the situation. You should never attempt to fix an HVAC unit by yourself.
Clogged Furnace Filter
Most people never associate a leaking furnace with air filters. However, if the air filter is clogged, it can force water to come outside the furnace. This is usually the case if you have a central air conditioner in your home since a coil will have to be fitted above the furnace.
When this air filter is clogged, it means that there will be less airflow over the coil. Over time, this coil will freeze, water will pool up, and the furnace will start leaking. As a homeowner, you need to understand that the air filter traps dirt and other particles over time, which cause it to clog.
Therefore, you need to ensure that cleaning and replacing the air filter is part of your regular HVAC maintenance schedule. However, since the air filter is out of sight, not many people think about it. For this reason, it’s best to inspect the air filter at least once a month to determine whether it’s clogged.
HVAC experts recommend that you change a furnace filter after three months. This will ensure that there is proper airflow, and your furnace will function efficiently over a long period.
Most homeowners add a whole-house humidifier in their home to make it more comfortable, especially during winter when the air is too dry. However, if you have such a humidifier in your home, it might be the cause of your leaking furnace. This is because the humidifier requires water to function properly and is usually connected to your home’s plumbing system.
In most cases, the humidifier will leak water into the furnace leading to a more complicated situation. It’s never a great idea to handle such a situation by yourself. This is because a humidifier is a highly sensitive appliance that requires the knowledge and expertise of a professional technician to inspect it and make any repairs if necessary.
Therefore, when you schedule the annual furnace maintenance and tune-up, ensure that you have your whole-house humidifier inspected too.
The Air Conditioner
During spring and fall, the weather is very unpredictable, and most homeowners find themselves alternating between an air conditioner and a furnace to maintain comfortable temperatures in their homes. Therefore, what might appear to be a furnace leaking water on your floor might actually be the air conditioner.
This is because air conditioners are ideally designed to absorb moisture from the air and then condense it. The condensed water is later drained using a pan. However, if there is a clog or leak in the pan or tube, the water will leak out, and you’ll end up thinking that it’s a problem with your furnace.
You can fully diagnose such a problem by calling a professional technician to inspect your air conditioner and furnace so that the correct solution is provided. This will help extend the lifespan of both the air conditioner and furnace and also ensure that each piece of equipment functions efficiently.
Faulty Secondary Heat Exchanger
This is one of the biggest problems that affect a furnace. This problem is very complex and serious that it could result in a complete furnace replacement. If you still can’t find out why your furnace is leaking, it could be because of a problem with the heat exchanger. This could be the reason for most of the water issues you’re dealing with, and it needs to be repaired right away.
However, this is usually an expensive fix which is why most homeowners prefer a furnace replacement. In order to properly diagnose the problem, ensure you call a skilled professional technician to fix it before it damages more internal components of the furnace.
Broken Condensate Line/Condensate Pump
As you might have learned by now, high-efficiency furnaces usually produce condensation as a byproduct of natural gas combustion. This condensation is normally drained through the condensate line. If this condensate line is broken or damaged for any reason, it will cause the furnace to leak.
Nowadays, more high-efficiency furnaces are fitted with a condensate pump which pumps out the condensate to keep the furnace dry at all times. If this condensate pump becomes faulty, it will cause the furnace to leak.
What You Should Do When You Notice a Leak
Contacting a professional HVAC technician to fix a leaking furnace is always the best idea. However, before the technician comes to your house, there are some things you need to do. First, start by turning off the furnace using the switch next to it. If the switch is not available, you can always use the breaker to turn it off. Then, clean up the water pool around the furnace. Next, check the air filter to determine whether it’s clogged. If it is clogged, replace it. Lastly, wait for the professional HVAC repair team to arrive.
Our technicians at SDAC Heating & Air Conditioning are skilled and qualified to provide you with the best heating repair, air purification, water heater, humidifier, dehumidifier, and air conditioning services you can find in El Cajon. Contact us today and let us take care of all your heating and cooling needs.