Plumbing problems may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about HVAC issues. However, water in the form of condensate is a frequent byproduct of both the heating and cooling processes, depending on the type of furnace or air conditioner installed in your house. Here are two ways that plumbing problems may affect heating and cooling:
High-efficiency gas furnaces are two-stage units that incorporate a secondary heat exchanger to extract additional heat.
This two-stage heating process produces considerable condensation — as much as 5 or 6 gallons per day. Water is usually removed from the furnace through a drain pipe that discharges outdoors, or it is connected to a floor drain or other part of the household drain system.
What Can Go Wrong
A clogged condensate drain will trigger overflow and spill water on the floor around the furnace. Leakage may occur from two sources:
- A clog in the condensate drain line or trap.
- A leaky condensate drain pump or pump fitting.
Both issues require diagnosis and repair by a qualified HVAC service technician to stop the leakage and prevent water damage.
Central Air Conditioner
The AC evaporator coil located in the indoor air handler removes heat from the air and also extracts humidity, often generating more than 20 gallons of condensation per day in humid weather. This water is collected in a condensate drip pan beneath the air handler, then diverted into a drain line that connects to the household drain system.
What Can Go Wrong
Algae or mold growth occurring in the air handler drip pan may clog the drain line. The pan will then rapidly overflow each time the air conditioner cycles on and may cause major indoor water damage.
Professional service to restore normal drain function includes cleaning the drip pan, clearing the clog out of the drain line, then placing biocide tablets in the drip pan to inhibit algae growth and prevent recurrence.
Contact the professionals at Aggressive Mechanical for solutions to plumbing problems affecting your HVAC system.