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How Can I Keep My Furnace Drain From Freezing?

Monday, December 31, 2018
How Can I Keep My Furnace Drain From Freezing?

We know that the winter months can pose some unique challenges for your HVAC system. The declining temperatures can make your system work harder and pave the way for the development of new problems all season long, which is why it's so important to be vigilant.

One common HVAC issue we encounter during the winter is frozen furnace drains. As your furnace puts in the hard work needed to keep your home warm and comfortable, it creates condensate that needs to be moved outside. If the condensate drain lines start to freeze, you're going to have some issues. Fortunately, we know how to take care of your furnace drain all season long. Here's a look at how you can prevent this irritating problem from popping up this winter.

How to Prevent a Frozen Drain Line

Weather-Proof Sleeves

This is one of the most effective ways to fight back against this common winter problem: weather-proof sleeves that protect the condensate lines from the elements. Wrapping these sleeves around your drain lines will keep them nice and warm, no matter how low the temperature drops outside.

Shorten the Drain Lines

This is another option. Shortening the drain pipe gives the water a bit less room to freeze, lowering your chances of dealing with this annoying issue. This isn't something you should do on your own, however. An HVAC professional can effectively shorten the pipe without causing damage or affecting the function of your furnace.

Check On It After Snowfall

If it does begin snowing, make sure you remember to check in on your condensate drain line once the snowfall stops. It's rare in our region, but snowfall that piles up as high as the drain line can cause a problem. Snow can cause a blockage or make the line more likely to freeze. A little bit of diligence can make a big difference after a snow storm.

What to Do If It Freezes

Pour Warm Water Over It

Fortunately, if your condensate line freezes you have some options. We always suggest contacting our HVAC experts if your line has frozen, but in the meantime you can take steps like pouring warm water over the pipe to help melt some of the ice. This can prevent further damage. Just make sure that you're not using boiling water! Warm water will do just fine, without damaging your furnace or any of its related components.

Use a Hot Water Bottle

A hot water bottle placed on the line can also help thaw it. Just move it up and down the affected part and slowly melt the ice that has built up.

Call a Professional

The best option is to call a professional. Even if you're capable of fixing this issue on your own, it could come back. We can take some of the preventative steps outlined above, like insulating the pipe or shortening it, and ensure that you won't have to worry about this problem again for the rest of the season. Contact us at (425) 775-6464 and our furnace repair experts will be there to answer any questions you may have.


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