Sunday, January 8, 2017

HVAC Drain Line Freeze Ups

Howdy Folks, it's the guy you love to hate or hate to love, with a PSA (Public Service Announcement) you might want to be made aware of.

Does your home have a high efficiency 93% of higher heating system. Most of the newer ones are. I installed one in my home some years back and love it.

Problem is: high efficiency heating systems pull water from the air in your home and drain it to the outdoors via a little pipe just like the air conditioning does come summer.

Now ordinarily that isn't a problem but occasionally, when the temperatures drop well below freezing that HVAC drain will freeze up causing the water to back up into your home.

And we all know that ain't cool.

The results can be ruined carpets, rotting floors, disease causing black mold, and very expensive repair bills that may or may not be covered by your homeowners insurance.

I discovered this problem over a decade ago and deal with it in two ways: 1. I occasionally pour hot water down the pipe. (You may find that to be impossible depending on your installation) and 2. I go outdoors and pour hot water over the frozen end of the pipe until the round plug of ice slides out from the force of the water backing up behind it.

Now it could be this isn't a problem for your high efficiency heating system. There must be ways to fix it. Surely people up North in frigid climates are not pouring hot water on drain pipes in -40 temps all winter but as long as the Greensboro Building Inspectors continue to sign off on this sort of installation (and folks, they still do as my HVAC system was again replaced last summer) this will continue to be a problem.