If you see your furnace leaking, there can be a few reasons why. The first step is to contact a technician to diagnose the problem because, if your furnace is leaking water, it can cause a whole bunch of problems. A leak isn’t always a reason to panic. There may be a simple issue that doesn’t always require major work such as furnace replacement.
Common Reasons Furnaces Leak
Some of the most common causes of a leaking furnace technicians at Sky Heating see include:
- Condensation: Condensation is by far the most common reason for furnaces to leak. This frequently occurs in high-efficiency furnaces that have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of 90 or better. Since this type of furnace spends more time extracting heat from combustion gases, more moisture is produced once the furnace starts to cool down.
The condensation is routed to a floor drain but clogs in the drain or tubing can cause condensation water to pool up. A condensate line or pump problem can cause a leak too. If water is collecting around a standard-efficiency furnace, it may have an incorrectly sized exhaust pipe.
- Humidifier Leak: Furnaces have a built-in humidifier to add moisture to warm air. This prevents issues with dry heat. A clog or other problem with the furnace humidifier can cause water to leak from the furnace and inside it as well, which can cause a great deal of internal damage. Humidifier issues can occur if your furnace isn’t tuned up regularly.
- Clogged Filter: When air passes into the furnace, it must go through a filter first to block any particles or debris from getting in. But if the filter is clogged, airflow is disrupted and the evaporator coil can freeze. Ice on the coil will eventually melt, causing water to leak from the furnace. Restricted airflow can also affect performance and efficiency.
Effects of a Leaking Furnace
In some cases, a leak that appears to be coming from the furnace may be an issue with nearby pipes in your plumbing system. If you use your furnace and air conditioner together, an AC leak can be mistaken for a furnace leak and vice versa. Another potential source of a water leak is a damaged heat exchanger, which can be a particularly expensive problem to fix.
Regardless of the cause, furnace repair is important because the leak can trigger the following effects:
- Foul Odor: A stale, musty smell can fill the basement or other area around a leaking furnace. This can be particularly unpleasant in frequently used spaces.
- Floor Stains: Persistent water leakage can cause dark stains on walls, ceilings, and non-carpeted floors. Staining usually means moisture has penetrated deep into building materials and that structural damage has already occurred.
- Furnace Coil Freeze: A frozen evaporator coil can cause your furnace to break down or not provide enough heat. It is also a common cause of leaks and potential water damage.
- Mold: If there’s any moisture or standing water for an extended length of time, mold can develop. There are different types of mold; some are just smelly and annoying. Others can cause serious damage and health problems.
- Costly Furnace Replacement: Although modern, high-efficiency furnaces can save you money in the long run, replacing your furnace is still an investment. Address water leakage problems early to avoid premature replacement.
Contact Sky Heating
We can address any cause of your furnace leaking water to protect your appliance and home. Our technicians are fully trained and equipped to quickly determine the source of the problem and correct it. In addition to repairs and furnace replacement, we provide ductwork, air quality, and plumbing services in Portland, Gresham, The Dalles, and elsewhere across Oregon and Southwest Washington. Call us at 541-275-2918 or reach out online to schedule service.