Water Got Into My Furnace… Now What?

While your plumbing and HVAC systems may be similar, they aren’t the same. Plumbing carries freshwater and wastewater into and out of your home. Your HVAC system controls heating and cooling. 

Your furnace is usually located in the basement, crawl space, or utility closet somewhere in your home. It may be near other equipment such as the water heater. It continues to operate well …

Until you have a problem. Furnaces can stand up to a lot of wear and tear. But the one thing they can’t handle is water. What if a pipe breaks? Or the water heater leaks? Or water seeps into the basement and gets into the furnace? Then what? 

Water Got Into My Furnace… Now What?

Anytime your gas furnace makes contact with water, fast action is necessary. Here are the steps you should take. 

Where is the water coming from? 

Before you do any work, ensure all utilities are shut down near your HVAC equipment. Your furnace operates by electrical power. Electricity and water never mix. When in doubt, call in an expert. 

If you can get close to your furnace, visually inspect the equipment for any sign of damage. Are there puddles on the floor? Is there dirt, silt, or other substance near the equipment? Take note of what it is. This will help guide the HVAC technician to the extent of damage your furnace has sustained.

If your furnace is in a utility closet, it may be coming from something other than the furnace. Does the water heater have a problem? Is it cracked or leaking? While your furnace might need an inspection, repair work, or possibly replacement, it may require the skill of more than one technician to bring your systems back to working condition. 

When a furnace needs replacement

Whether your furnace is damaged from internal (water heater) or external (flood) damage, it will need replacing. Any damage from water cannot be replaced. It will require an entirely new heating system to bring your HVAC system back to working condition. 

When heating equipment is damaged by water, it can short circuit the electrical unit. Water can also settle in and corrode various parts of the system. And if water settles into ducts or vents, it can increase the likelihood of mold and mildew, impacting your health. Replacement is the only way to ensure your heating system remains in good working condition. 

Storm damage is not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Your insurance provider can give you more information on possible compensation from water damage. 

What other questions do you have about water damage and your furnace? 

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