Why is there water coming from my HVAC system?

The Air Conditioner

Condensation accumulates on the coil of the air conditioner that is located at or near your furnace or air handler. The air from inside your home is circulated across those coils that have cold refrigerant flowing through them, and condensation is formed on those coils.

This is much like if you remove a cold drink from your refrigerator and set it on the counter. Condensation forms on the container of the cold glass and drips down the sides.

The air conditioner coils have a pan located underneath, and the condensate water drips into the pan. The pan has a pipe that is Pipeattached, and this pipe directs the water to the outside of your home, typically somewhere on the foundation wall. An air conditioner will produce 5 to 20 gallons of water per day depending on the humidity level outside.

Most homes that have a gas furnace or air conditioner will have a small pipe sticking out from the foundation and water will drain out of that pipe.

The condensation that is dripping from the pipe outside is the amount of water that the air conditioner is removing from your home. The longer the air conditioner runs, the more humidity it will remove from inside your house. Properly sized air conditioners will keep your home at 58% humidity or less. The lower the humidity inside your home will allow a higher temperature to feel more comfortable.

Gas Furnace

If your home is heated by a gas furnace, that furnace will run on and off throughout the winter, day or night to keep you and your family comfortable. Furnaces today are typically 80% to 95% efficient.

To better understand efficiency, I will give you an example; a furnace that is 80% efficient will use eighty cents of every dollar to heat your home, and the other twenty cents will be sent up the chimney. The higher the efficiency, the less waste, and the less money is sent up the chimney.

Gas furnaces that are 90% efficient or more use so much of the heat generated by burning the gas, that the chimney is cool enough to use plastic pipe instead of metal for the chimney.

These higher efficient furnaces are called “condensing” furnaces. The condensing furnace produces condensate (water) as a byproduct as it uses most of the heat from burning gas and sends that heat into your home. The average furnace can produce 5 to 10 gallons of condensate per day.

The gas furnace will have piping connected to it so the condensation water can be piped to the outside of your home.

Any water coming from your HVAC system other than what we’ve described earlier would be an indication of a problem that needs to be looked at by one of our Professional Service Technicians. If you’re having this issue, contact us today!

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