What to Do About a Leaky Furnace

freezing parents and teenage son warming near warm heater in home
If you find a pool of water has formed on the floor around your furnace, don’t be alarmed. In most cases, this does not indicate a serious or expensive problem. In fact, it’s pretty common. What you should do though is call one of our Alkota Plumbing and Heating technicians right away to investigate it. Leaks can usually be repaired relatively quickly. If you get it taken care of immediately, you’ll avoid more difficult problems, like water damage and mold.

Type of Furnace

When you make the call, be able to answer whether your unit is condensing or conventional. If you don’t know, check the exhaust pipe. If it’s a PVC pipe (made out of hard, white plastic), your furnace is condensing. If you’re still not sure, look for a yellow sticker with Energy Star® on the side of the unit. This displays the furnace’s AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating. If the AFUE is 90 or higher, it’s typically condensing. If it’s lower than 90, it’s typically conventional.

Reasons Your Furnace May Be Leaking

There are several reasons your unit could be leaking:

  • Water condensation––This is the most likely explanation. Condensing furnaces go through a heating process involving air moisture becoming condensed, which is then sent through piping into a drain. If the piping is clogged, or the pump is broken, this can cause leaking.
  • Wrong-sized exhaust pipe––Conventional air conditioners have this problem sometimes. The wrong-sized exhaust pipe can prevent condensation from exiting properly, leading to liquid buildup.
  • Humidifier leak––If you have a humidifier attached to your furnace, water could be seeping in from the humidifier making the furnace appear to leak.
  • Drain clog––If you have an air-conditioning system connected to your furnace sharing a condensate drain, this drain could be clogged.
  • Defective secondary heat exchanger––This is the only option you really have to be worried about, as it requires a furnace replacement. This issue can only occur in condensing furnaces.

If you’re in or near Anchorage, AK, contact Alkota Plumbing and Heating right away! We’ll fix your unit in no time (unless you have a defective secondary heat exchanger, in which case we’ll need to replace your furnace . . . sorry). Call us at 907-332-5325 today!