Seeing water dripping from your furnace base may be alarming, but in most cases, there is a simple explanation for this issue. Consider these three possible causes of furnace water leaks, all of which are relatively easy and inexpensive for your HVAC specialist to fix. In some cases, you can even fix the issue yourself.

1. Your condensation tubing or drain is blocked.

If you have a new, high-efficiency furnace, it produces condensation as it heats the air. This condensation is typically collected and sent down a piece of tubing either directly to a floor drain or to a pump that sends it to a drain across the room. If this tubing or drain becomes clogged, the water may collect in the bottom of the furnace.

Locate the condensation tube that runs from your furnace. Usually, it is made from clear, flexible plastic. Check to see if you can see any blockages, and also check the drain for blockages. If you spot a clog in the tube, you can typically use a piece of wire to dislodge it. Cleaning a dirty or clogged floor drain should solve that problem.

2. If you have an older chimney with a furnace, the liner may be broken.

If you do not have a high-efficiency furnace, all of the exhaust, moisture and all, is probably sent up a chimney. If there is a leak in the chimney liner, water from outside may slowly be trickling in through the crack in the liner. Take a look at the tubing leading from your furnace to the chimney. Does it appear wet or damp? If so, this is probably the source of your issue. An HVAC specialist can likely patch the liner or fit your chimney with a new one to prevent future leaks.

3. Your humidifier is leaking.

Do you have a humidifier unit integrated with your furnace? If so, it might be leaking. Try turning the humidifier off, and see if you still see moisture accumulating. If not, you can bet that the humidifier is to blame. Contact an HVAC specialist from a company like White Knoll Heating & Cooling Inc. to come assess the damage and repair or replace your humidifier. If you turn the humidifier off and there is still water accumulating, the issue is probably either with your condensation tube, drain, or chimney liner.

You should not ignore water dripping from your furnace, but it's no reason to panic, either. Most often, one of the simple issues above is to blame, and within a few hours, you or your repair person can have everything working perfectly again.

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