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Why is My Furnace Leaking Water?

Lots of homeowners will fire up their furnaces for the first time this winter only to discover that their furnace is leaking water. Is this a sign of a serious problem? Do you need an expensive repair? The answer to these questions isn’t always straightforward, but this blog will help you determine whether or not you need to call for a repair or you’re simply experiencing normal operation of your home’s heater.

High-Efficiency Furnaces

Furnaces with an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 90 percent or higher are considered “high-efficiency” gas furnaces. Because these systems are engineered to channel as much heat as possible and filter it into your own home, the exhaust they create is actually cool. Cool exhaust flowing through a vent creates condensation that can drip back down through your system.

Normally this condensation is filtered back out through a drain, much like your air conditioner. However, if your drain pipe is clogged, this condensation could build up and you could notice small water puddles on the floor around your unit. To fix this, simply unclog your condensation drain.

Furnace Humidifier

Furnaces have a humidifier designed to make the air injected into your home comfortable as well as warm. However, if this humidifier isn’t working properly, it could lead to condensation and your system leaking. This is a potentially serious problem, since dripping water can actually do significant damage to your system as a whole. If you’ve had your system maintained in an annual maintenance service already, you won’t have anything to worry about since your technician will have already spotted this problem.

Secondary Heat Exchangers

The secondary heat exchanger takes the exhaust from your primary heat exchanger and extracts the heat from it in order to heat your home. Because of this, the exhaust that comes out of your secondary heat exchanger is usually cool, meaning condensation can form. This mixture of water and carbon dioxide (known as carbonic acid) could cause damage to your heat exchanger over time. If this is the problem, you may need to replace the heat exchanger, or worse, possibly replace the entire furnace.

If you’re experiencing an issue with your furnace and are noticing condensation or water leaks on the ground, you should have your system diagnosed by a Virginia furnace repair professional. Contact Donmar Heating & Cooling today at (703) 457-8676 and schedule your repair service appointment!

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