What to Do If Your Furnace Is Leaking Water

In a perfect world, we’d never have to deal with surprise mishaps with our home appliances, but that’s not the case. Sometimes problems are waiting for you when you get home.

Leaks are a fairly common issue for furnaces. There are a number of reasons they happen; some major, others minor.

If you come home to a furnace leaking water, you’ll most likely need a technician to come out and diagnose the problem. But it never hurts to stay educated on the different components of your home.

To help you out, we’re going over the primary reasons for water leaks in a furnace. Then we’ll look at the next steps to take.


Reasons for a Furnace Leaking Water

If you notice water around the base of your furnace, it needs to be remedied right away. Water damage is serious and effects other areas of your home including the ceiling, walls, and flooring. Mold is an issue as well.

Let’s look at the most common reasons for a furnace leak so you can determine the cause if it happens to you.


Condensation Leak

This is one of the most common reasons for a furnace leak. Many furnaces run at a high efficiency, which means an AFUE rating of either 90 or above. This type of furnace contains two heat exchangers that help it produce more heat.

Condensation caused by the production of heat must get carried out of your home via pipes. Most of the time this is through a floor drain.

When these pipes either get clogged or break, you’ll get leaking condensation around the base of the furnace. Once the water starts to collect and pool up, there’s a potential for water damage.


Humidifier Leak

Another reason for your furnace leaking water is a break or clog in the humidifier. These devices are hooked up to your plumbing system in order to add moisture to the air. If any type of breakage occurs, or they get clogged, water will start dripping around the furnace.


A Plumbing Leak

Finding your furnace leaking water may mean there’s an issue with the plumbing and not the furnace itself. There actually may not be an issue with the components of the furnace, which is a good thing. However, the leak still needs to be addressed.

When a clogged or broken plumbing pipe causes a backup in the drainage system, it seems as though the furnace is leaking. These pipes need to be repaired or replaced.


A Clogged Filter

If your furnace’s filter is dirty and clogged, it will restrict airflow through the furnace coil. Many times this causes the coil to freeze. However, sometimes it causes water to leak and pool up around the furnace.

Make sure you always check the condition of your furnace’s air filter and replace it if it’s dirty.


Air Conditioner Leaking

In mild climates like California, furnaces and air conditioners are sometimes used during the same season. When this happens and your air conditioner is being used, the condensation pan fills and water drips onto the heating system.

This makes it seem like you have a furnace leaking water, but it’s actually the air conditioner.


Heat Exchanger Problem

A problem with the heat exchanger in your furnace could cause a water leak and unfortunately is one of the most expensive repairs. If you’ve looked into the other possible causes of a leak and can’t find it, it may be the heat exchanger.

A new unit may need to be installed. A technician will be able to advise you on whether this needs to happen.


What to Do When You Notice a Leak

When you notice water dripping from your furnace or pooling up at the base, you need to act fast. Before a professional comes to your home to diagnose the issue, it’s important to do a few things.

First, shut the entire system off. You should see a switch on or next to the furnace. If you can’t find this, turn the unit off at the breaker.

You’ll need to clean up all the water that has pooled up around the base. It’s important to soak up all water thoroughly, as water damage happens quickly. If you have large amounts of water, you need to rent a wet-dry vacuum.

Next, check the air filter. If the filter is dirty and clogged, you’ll need to buy and install a new one.

If you can tell exactly where the leak is coming from, this will give you a good indication what the problem is. However, you’re likely going to need professional help.


Hiring Professional Furnace Repair Services

A qualified technician will be able to quickly diagnose a furnace leaking water and let you know what needs to be done. It’s important that you hire a reputable company in your area that has experience with HVAC systems.

Some companies only specialize in AC units, so make sure the company you hire also has experience working with furnaces.

Check reviews online to find a company that has a good local reputation and track record of satisfied customers. You don’t want to hire the first company you find and end up spending too much on poor workmanship.

Look for a company with accreditation with the Better Business Bureau and that is connected to local contractors or builders associations. A strong local reputation is a sign of quality service.


Final Thoughts

The best way to avoid issues with your furnace is to keep it maintained and be on the lookout for any operational issues. It’s a good idea to have your furnace inspected and tuned-up each year. This increases the longevity of the unit and helps keep energy bills under control.

However, problems are always possible. If you notice your furnace leaking water, don’t hesitate to contact us at Kaiser Air Conditioning. We specialize in heating and cooling repair in Oxnard and surrounding areas.