The furnace blends multifaceted mechanical and technical components, which are prone to get damaged with the slightest of provocation. Some furnace problems could be significant and demanding, while others are small. However, if we are talking of water leaking from furnace when heat is on, it’s something you don’t want to neglect, even for a minute.
So many things can go wrong when the furnace starts leaking, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be a victim of the perilous outcome.
Why Does My Furnace Leak When in Use?
A furnace doesn’t leak for the sake of it. It leaks when something bigger than you could imagine is wrong. The following are leading reasons your furnace may start leaking when you power it on.
If your furnace leaks, it’s probably an issue with condensation. Modern high-efficiency furnaces operate at high efficient levels, thanks to the dual heat exchangers. As the heat exchangers heat and release condensation, which is transferred to your home through pipes and floor drains, a lot can happen along the way.
In some instances, the lines can break or get clogged, leading to condensation leaking at the bottom of the furnace. With time, the condensed hot air will build up to form water drops, which could damage your furnace.
Heat Exchanger issue
If it’s not a condensation leakage, it could be a heat exchanger leak. Leaking heat exchangers are complex to deal with, and in most instances, you will pay a lot of money on repairs. In many cases, professionals will recommend buying a new heat exchanger. That’s because repairing a damaged heat exchanger can prove impossible even to the most skilled HVAC technician.
Leaks in the humidifier
If the two reasons above aren’t why your furnace is leaking, it could then be a problem with the humidifier. Humidifier leaks happen mostly when the humidifier is clogged or broken.
Since humidifiers connect to your plumbing system purposely to provide moisture to the air flowing into your spaces, if they are clogged or damaged, the air will be released to exterior parts. In many instances, it collects around the furnace in the form of water droplets.
Leakages in the air conditioner
When your HVAC technician has checked all the above components and doesn’t diagnose the source of the leakage, they will likely examine the air conditioner.
If the air conditioner and furnace are running simultaneously, it’s possible water drops accumulated around the condensation pan will drip onto the surface of your furnace. While it may not be a furnace leak, the water droppings could directly affect the health of your furnace.
Leakage in the plumbing system
Furnace leaks could also signify a problem with your plumbing system. When the leakage is coming from your plumbing system, it simply means the furnace components are intact. However, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore the leakage because you might expose the furnace to dozens of potential problems if you do.
The air filters have a clogging
The last most likely reason your furnace will leak is when the air filters are clogged. Clogged air filters block the smooth flow of air to the furnace coil. If that happens, the likely result will be freezing of the coil. In other instances, dirty and clogged air filters will cause the leakage of water, which may collect around your heating system.
What to do When I Discover Water Leaking from Furnace When Heat is on
Water leaks from your furnace aren’t an issue you want to disregard as unnecessary. Neglecting water leakages can have a profound long-term impact on your heating system. Make sure the water leak is addressed immediately after the discovery. Before you call the HVAC technician, here are things you should do to salvage the situation:
- Immediately after discovering water coming from your furnace or accumulating around the heating system, take the bold step to power it off. Switch the system off, and then go ahead to turn the main switch off. If you can’t do any of the above, you would better turn the heating system off right from your home’s fuse box.
- When you’re fully convinced the furnace is off, clean the accumulated water from your heating system. Stagnant water flooding around your furnace system can damage the unit.
- If you aren’t busy, inspect and clean the air filters. Unclog any clogged air filters and make sure you leave them clean. You can use a water-safe vacuum to extract anything clogging the filters.
- Put on the heating system. If you don’t detect any leaks after igniting the heating system, it’s possible the problem was coming from clogged filters. However, if the furnace still leaks, you want to call your furnace repair for quick solutions.
What You Shouldn’t Do When Your Furnace is Leaking
Leaks from your heating system aren’t something you would want to gamble with. As you’ve seen above, most leakages result from complex problems within your furnace components. If you have a furnace leak, you should never try dissembling the furnace to do the repairs yourself.
You’re more likely to leave the furnace damaged further, which could add to the overall repair costs. Second, you should never try cleaning the water around the furnace before you put it off. There are chances you might be electrocuted in the process.
Third, you should never assume that the furnace will be fine and fail to call your HVAC technician. Leaving the furnace leaks unattended for hours or days could leave the unit with severe and costly damages.
Water Leaking from Furnace When Heat is On – Conclusion
Why is water leaking from furnace when heat is on? You perfectly well know, as I fully understand, that furnace leaks aren’t a frequent happening. If they do happen, it’s an indication of a problem inside the furnace. You don’t want to try handling the leaks yourself, as that could expose you to multiple health risks.
You must neither neglect the leakage as it could develop into a more significant issue. The right thing you ought to do is to call your HVAC repair technician to resolve the leakage issue.