Furnace - High Efficiency Furnace Exhaust Pipe Ices during Winter
We had a high efficiency furnace installed about 10 years ago, which was installed with a PVC exhaust pipe vented from the side of the house, approximately 3 feet above ground.
Each winter water/condensate drips from the exhaust pipe and forms an ice pillar/stalagmite which I fear could clog the exhaust pipe and cause the furnace to shut off.
Because this is a summer home in northern Michigan, our neighbor was kind enough, in past years, to check the pipe periodically and knock the ice pillar down when needed. However, our neighbor has moved (victim of the recession) and we no longer have a neighbor who can check the pipe in winter.
Does anyone have an idea for preventing this type of ice build up?
I'm sorry, but I have tried to contact the furnace installer (out of business) and the furnace manufacturer (also out of business), and I cannot find out if any other company bought the furnace brand -- it was a brand I did not recognize, but the installer was reputable and recommended it. (We were told it was a HVAC "generic" brand -- just as good, but we would not be paying for the name brand -- yes, we were probably young and naive; but the installer was well known.)
We have had no problems with the furnace itself. I just worry about potential problems from the ice build up.
I tried insulating the outside part of the pipe last winter with a pipe wrap (no effect) -- probably a dumb idea, but it was suggested by a radio Handyman I called in desperation.
I've thought of putting on an extention to the pipe, pointing it up, but this is probably a dumb idea, too; snow and rain could get into the pipe and cause who knows what kind of problems.