How to Prevent Frozen Condensate Lines

man holding a broken pipe

With temperatures dropping, condensate drain lines have a higher chance of freezing. When that happens, most HVAC systems are designed to shut off completely, leaving homeowners scrambling for a solution. In reality, a major repair may not be necessary as thawing the frozen drain lines should fix the issue.

Are some systems more likely to experience this issue?

Yes! High-efficiency furnaces, which are the way to go if you want to significantly reduce your energy bill. Because these systems are more efficient in heating your home, they produce more condensation. More condensation means more water (up to 5-6 gallons each day). Add in the extreme temperatures winter brings and you’ve got yourself a problem if you’re not prepared.

Can you prevent HVAC condensate drain lines from freezing?

The short answer is yes. Depending on the conditions, there are a few ways homeowners can prevent this situation from happening. That doesn’t mean the condensate lines are guaranteed to never freeze though. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Insulate drain with a weatherproof material
  • Use Ice Melt underneath the drain line exit point
  • Install heat tape around the exposed pipe

Be sure to periodically check on the exit point of your condensate line to ensure it continues to draining properly. And don’t underestimate the importance of regular maintenance!

It’s too late! What are ways to fix a frozen drain line?

Although there are many frozen drain line solutions, we suggest calling one of our trained professionals to properly defrost the line and ensure there is no major damage to your HVAC system or any necessary repairs. If you have a furnace condensate line that keeps freezing, definitely call our team at (757) 656-3023 to schedule a full evaluation! We are available 24/7 for your convenience.