In a perfect scenario, your appliances would never break down. Unfortunately, furnaces can leak. A furnace leak may happen when you are at home, which means you can do something about it. At other times, it happens when you are away, so you return home to a big mess. Unfortunately, furnace leaks are a common occurrence and are caused by several things. Some leaks are serious, requiring a professional to fix, but others are easy to fix.
If your furnace is leaking in Salem, technicians from Woodward Heating Air Plumbing can visit your home and diagnose the problem. Regardless of whether you need a technician, you should be educated on how your furnace works, why it leaks, and the steps technicians will take to repair it. This post will review the primary reasons your furnace leaks. It will also evaluate some of the actions taken to fix a leaky furnace.
Reasons Your Furnace Is Leaking Water
If you see water around your furnace, it is a problem that needs to be fixed immediately. Water damage can seriously affect your home. It damages your walls, floors, and ceilings. Furnace leaks can lead to mold growth.
Condensation is a primary reason for furnace leaks. Furnaces operate at high efficiency with an AFUE rating of 90 or above. The heat exchanges in a furnace produce heat and ultimately produce condensation. This condensation is removed from your home via pipes that travel through a floor drain. When the condensation pipes break or get clogged, you will see the leakage from the condensation around the furnace’s base. This can lead to water damage.
Furnace Humidifier Leak
Humidifier leaks are a severe problem. If the humidifier attached to your furnace is not properly maintained, leaks will occur. Unfortunately, many homeowners are not aware that their furnace humidifier needs to be serviced each year. Scheduling maintenance with Woodward Heating Air Plumbing technicians can reduce the chances of a humidifier leak.
Some common causes of humidifier leaks include water backed up in the drain line, an accumulation of residue blocking the drain, a humidifier valve in the wrong direction, debris leaving the valve open, and water pressure over 125 psi. Annual maintenance can identify these problems before they become a big deal and keep your furnace humidifier functioning properly.
A plumbing issue may be causing your furnace leak. Although there may not be an issue with the furnace itself, that’s a good thing because your furnace is working as it should. However, there is still a leak that needs to be found and fixed. You may need to replace or repair the pipes that are near your furnace.
If you are looking for the source of your furnace leak, look at your air filter. A clogged air filter does not directly cause your furnace to leak. However, if your air conditioning system and heating system share the same ductwork, it can cause your air conditioner to leak.
Many central AC systems have the evaporator coil on top of the furnace right inside the primary supply duct. If the furnace filter is dirty, it can impede airflow over the evaporator coil. This causes excessive moisture. In the winter, this excessive moisture leads to freezing temperatures and ice buildup on top of the coil.
When you deactivate your air conditioner, the ice will melt and drip into your furnace because the condensate drain cannot handle the moisture. Having your furnace filter changed during regular maintenance may prevent excessive amounts of moisture from building up on the evaporator coil. If the water leak persists after changing the coil, a technician should be called to evaluate the rest of your HVAC system.
Air Conditioner Leakage
In milder climates, homeowners may use their air conditioner during the day and their heater during the night. If this happens, the condensation pan can fill with water and drip into the heating system. The problem is not with your furnace but with your air conditioner.
Heat Exchanger Problem
If you have a gas furnace, the heat exchanger is the component that heats the air. It’s made of coils and tubes that loop through the airflow inside the furnace. The shape of the coil varies based on the model of your furnace.
A cracked heat exchanger is a serious problem. Don’t ignore it. If left unchecked, it could put your home’s safety at risk. If there is a crack in the heat exchanger, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, and sulfur could leak into your home. It could make your family sick or even have fatal consequences.
In addition to seeing soot and smelling strange odors, water on the floor is a sign of a cracked heat exchanger. Only professional HVAC technicians can evaluate your heat exchanger and determine if it is the source of your water leakage issues.
What Should You Do If You Notice Your Furnace Is Leaking?
First, shut off the system. There should be something that looks like a light switch next to the furnace coil. If you can’t find this, turn off the system at the breaker. Next, quickly clean up in the sitting water. The longer water sits, the more damage it can cause. If the leak is substantial, you may need to get access to a wet dry vacuum.
Next, you can do some basic troubleshooting to tell the technicians where you think the issue is coming from. Look at the exhaust pipe. If the exhaust pipe is too small or the wrong shape, gases will not be able to escape. As they cool down, they create condensation that runs back and leaks out of your furnace. If you see condensation on the vent pipe, jot this down and let our HVAC professionals know.
Evaluate your condensate line. It could be clogged. Check the drain tap to see if it’s blocked. If that’s not the issue, it’s a good idea to have a professional troubleshoot the problem. Evaluate the condensate pump for malfunctions and the humidifier for leaks. After doing this cursory inspection, if you still can’t determine where the leak is coming from, our technicians will be able to evaluate your unit and identify the problem professionally.
An Ounce of Prevention Prevents Serious Problems
The best way to avoid furnace issues is to keep the furnace maintained. Keep your eyes open for operational issues. You should have your furnace inspected and tuned up annually. This not only increases the longevity of the unit, but it also keeps your energy expenses lower.
At Woodward Heating Air Plumbing, we proudly offer a variety of HVAC services, including:
- AC replacements, installation, repair, and maintenance
- Duct cleaning services
- Ductless services
- Fireplace services
- Furnace services
- Gas piping
- Heat pump services
- Heating installation, repair, and maintenance
- Indoor air quality services
- Thermostat upgrades
When you need heating or air conditioning services in Salem, Oregon, you can have the confidence knowing that we will show up offering EPA-certified products, NATE-certified technicians, and high-quality services. Our technicians have the knowledge and expertise to fix leaks from your furnace system. Contact Woodward Heating Air Plumbing today, and we will get your HVAC system running the way it should.