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Why is My Furnace Leaking Water?

Once the outdoor temperatures start to drop, homeowners depend on their furnaces to keep them warm and comfortable. However, noticing a furnace leaking water can cause alarm and raise many questions. If you see a leak coming from your furnace, you may be wondering what is wrong with it, whether it’s safe to use, and whether you need to call in an HVAC technician.

Furnace leaks can be caused by a range of issues, and it’s essential to identify and address the root cause of the problem promptly. If you’re wondering, “Why is my furnace leaking water?”, Star Heating & Cooling has some answers for you. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the most common causes of furnace water leaks and provide troubleshooting tips for homeowners to fix them. Additionally, we’ll highlight some instances where professional help is necessary.

Why Is My Furnace Leaking Water?

Condensing Furnace’s Drain Is Clogged

If you have a condensing furnace at home, you might sometimes notice water dripping from it. This can be a worrisome sight, but fortunately, it is not always a sign of a major problem. One possible reason for a leaking condensing furnace is a blocked drain pipe. This pipe is responsible for carrying away the water that is produced as the furnace works. If the pipe becomes clogged due to debris or dirt, the water will remain trapped inside and eventually overflow, causing leaks. 

If you have a high-efficiency heating unit that has a condensate drain line, check it for blockage. You may be able to clear it yourself with a stiff brush or a wet/dry vacuum. If you’re not comfortable doing so, call your HVAC technician for service. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the system can help prevent this problem from occurring.

Condensing Furnace’s Condensate Pump Is Malfunctioning

In some cases, the condensate pump may also be responsible for leaking from a condensing furnace. This pump helps to move water away from the furnace, but if it fails or becomes clogged, it can cause water to back up and overflow. A professional HVAC technician can help diagnose and repair the issue.

Blocked Exhaust Pipe

When a blocked exhaust vent prevents combustion gasses from escaping properly, those gasses can condense and create moisture. This moisture then collects in the furnace and can be the reason for your furnace leaking water. 

If you suspect this is the issue, check the exhaust vent. Ensure that it is clear and free from any debris, bird nests, or ice buildup. If you are uncomfortable or unsure, it’s essential to contact a qualified technician to take a look at the issue. A leaking furnace can cause significant damage to your home and health, so it’s important to address the problem as soon as possible.

Humidifier Is Leaking

If you have a whole home humidifier installed with your HVAC system, it may be the cause of your furnace leaking water. A whole home humidifier functions by adding moisture to the air, thereby preventing dryness. However, when there is a leak in the humidifier, water can seep into the furnace and cause the ignitor to malfunction. Additionally, the pooling of water can result in rust and corrosion, leading to significant damage to your HVAC system in general.

In light of this, it is crucial to take steps to troubleshoot and fix a leaking whole home humidifier. First and foremost, homeowners should inspect their humidifier’s water supply line to detect any leaks. A simple solution may involve tightening loose connections or replacing damaged parts. Another quick fix could involve cleaning the drain line that leads to your home’s sump pump. If there is a clog in the drain line, water may back up into the furnace.

However, if these simple fixes don’t solve the problem, it’s best to seek the help of an HVAC technician. In some cases, the issue may be more complicated and require a professional to assess and repair.

Air Filter Is Clogged

If it looks like there is water leaking from your furnace or heating system, there’s a chance the culprit is really your air conditioner – not the furnace. Many furnaces and air conditioning systems are installed alongside one another indoors, and not everyone realizes this.

If the air filter is dirty and clogged with debris, it can restrict airflow through the air conditioning system and cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. As the coil thaws, the moisture may overfill the drip pan and create water leakage that appears to come from the furnace. 

You can easily check the condition of your filter just to rule that option out before you call. If you replace the air filter and your HVAC system continues to leak water, contact a professional as soon as possible.

AC Drain Leaking

Problems with the AC condensate drain system are another issue that stems from the air conditioning components, even though it may appear that the furnace is leaking water. When an air conditioner is running, it cools the air by lowering the temperature of the evaporator coil. As warm air passes over the coil, moisture in the air condenses on its surface, creating water droplets that normally drip into a drain pan located beneath the coil. From there, the water is carried away through a drain line that exits your house.

If this drain line becomes clogged with dirt, debris, or other obstructions, the water can’t flow out as it should. Instead, it may back up into the drain pan, causing it to overflow. As a result, water can leak from the pan and into your furnace, making it appear as though your furnace is leaking.

To troubleshoot this issue, you can start by checking your AC’s drain line for any signs of clogging. You can do this by locating the drain pipe outside your home (usually near the outdoor AC unit) and inspecting it for any blockages. You may also want to remove the drain line from the AC unit and use a pipe cleaner or small brush to remove any debris that may be stuck inside.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, it’s possible that your drain pan itself may be damaged or cracked, which can cause water to leak even if the drain line is clear. In this case, you may need to replace the drain pan, so contact a professional HVAC technician to identify and fix the issue.

When to Call a Professional HVAC Technician

If you have checked your furnace, removed any blockages in the drain line, and changed the air filter but the furnace still leaks water, then it’s time to call a professional HVAC technician. Leaking water can be caused by a variety of serious problems that are beyond a homeowner’s knowledge. A licensed technician can address the issue and repair it promptly and safely.

Get Help with Furnace Water Leaks

A furnace leaking water can signal one of many serious problems. In some cases, simple DIY fixes can resolve the issues. However, it’s crucial to identify the cause of the leak and address it promptly. In some cases, professional help is needed to ensure safety and prevent further damage to your furnace. 

If you notice your furnace leaking water, call Star Heating & Cooling for professional furnace repairs in Fishers, IN. Our licensed and experienced technicians can help you diagnose and repair the issue, ensuring your furnace runs efficiently and effectively.