Just noticed water around your furnace? It can be a stressful scenario any time there’s a potential leak in your property, especially during the winter. But before you panic, it’s important to note that it could be something minor. Certain furnaces produce water naturally. To help you determine the cause and address it quickly to minimize damage, here are some common reasons that could be causing your furnace to leak.
What to Do if Your Furnace is Leaking
The reality is your furnace is a complex piece of equipment, and any potential leaks should be looked at by a qualified technician to ensure no further damage is caused and that it’s safe to operate.
As soon as you see water around the furnace, switch it off by moving the thermostat all the way into the OFF position. Once you’ve done that, hit the shut-off valve. This can be found on the gas line attached to the furnace. Next, turn off the breaker that operates the furnace.
Reasons Why Your Furnace Could Be Leaking
Condensation from the Equipment
Moisture problems can depend on the specific type of furnace you have. If yours is a high-efficiency design, it can produce condensation when it pumps cool air away from the furnace. The moisture can sometimes end up accumulating beneath the furnace. There’s typically a condensation line that should drain the water that is produced. However, a crack or other forms of damage to the line could end up causing a leak. Alternatively, your furnace might have a pump that removes moisture and isn’t performing as it should. Either way, damage to the pump or line could be causing your leak.
A Leaky Humidifier
A humidifier is commonly attached to the heating system to add moisture back into the air and make it more comfortable in the winter. As such, the humidifier can also sustain cracks and damage that could make it look as though the furnace is leaking.
A Clogged Drain
Your furnace and air conditioner both connect to an internal drain. If debris accumulates in the drain, it can clog up and block the condensation line, redirecting water near the furnace. This redirected water that gets pushed back can also make it appear as though the furnace is the source of the problem.
It Could be the Surrounding Pipes
Other pipes close to the furnace might also be causing the leak, rather than the furnace. As noted in many situations, a leak can often indicate damage and issues elsewhere, with the illusion of it coming from the furnace. Double-check the pipes nearby to look for cracks.
If the ducts are very clogged, this could also impact the air that’s directed through them and encourage damage along the connecting ducts. If the joints are improperly sealed or damaged, it could cause a leak.
A Failing or Broken Secondary Heat Exchanger
In more severe situations, a failing or broken secondary heat exchanger could be the culprit. If this is the case, it’ll be an expensive issue to have repaired, and in most of these situations, a replacement will be needed.
The Bottom Line
In any scenario, you’ll need to have a licensed technician perform an inspection to determine the cause and potential route for repairs. If they do point to an issue with blocked ductwork, give us a call at Power of Vac Ottawa. We can inspect, repair and clean your entire system, including sealing up any weak spots to prevent warm or cool air from leaking while keeping your entire HVAC system more efficient. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.