Water damage is a significant concern for homeowners, potentially leading to costly repairs and substantial inconvenience. One of the most common yet overlooked sources of water damage comes from heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems — specifically air conditioners and high-efficiency furnaces. Below, our Westchester and Putnam County HVAC experts will help you understand the risks and take preventative steps to mitigate potential water damage from your HVAC system.
Understanding Condensate Formation In Your HVAC System
You may be wondering what your HVAC system has to do with water or any kind of plumbing. Here's where it gets a little bit scientific.
Air conditioners and high-efficiency furnaces work by manipulating the temperature and humidity levels in the air. As they cool or heat the air, condensation forms — it is a natural by-product of the process. The condensation or 'condensate' is usually collected and drained away from the unit in a PVC pipe connected to your home's drain system.
Common Problems That Lead to HVAC-Related Water Damage
So now that we know where the water (or condensate) in your HVAC system comes from, it's time to investigate what happens when things go wrong. Water damage from HVAC systems typically stems from issues with handling this condensate. Here are some common causes:
Leaking Condensate Drain Hose: The drain hose guides the condensate away from the unit. If it's leaking, water can pool around your HVAC unit.
Blocked Condensate Drain Line: Over time, dirt, mold, and other debris can block the drain line, causing water to back up and overflow.
Damaged Drain Pan: The drain pan collects condensate. Water can leak onto the floor if it's damaged or cracked from rust.
Water might also leak from your AC if the evaporator coil has frozen over. Once that ice starts thawing, water drips down and eventually escapes the unit. It's essential to stop running your air conditioner if the coils have iced over. Allow the ice to thaw completely (running the system's fan can speed up this process). See if replacing the air filter fixes the issue. If ice starts forming again, it's time to call a technician.
Preventing Water Damage from HVAC Systems
Regular maintenance can help identify these issues early and prevent potential water damage. During maintenance, the technician can identify blocked or leaking drain lines and worn-out drain pans and ensure that the condensate is draining away correctly.
You should also keep an eye on your HVAC units throughout the year. If you see standing water around them or notice pools of water elsewhere in the house, don't hesitate to contact a pro. The longer you wait, the worse the damage will become.
To summarize, water damage from HVAC systems is a real risk that homeowners should take seriously. Fortunately, you can protect your home from costly repairs with regular maintenance, careful observation, and quick action when necessary.
How Robison Can Help
At Robison, we understand the importance of maintaining your HVAC system to prevent water damage. If you live in Westchester or Putnam County and want to ensure your HVAC system is operating correctly, contact us today at (914) 345-5700. Our expert technicians will inspect your unit, identify any issues that could lead to water damage, and help you take the necessary steps to keep your home safe.