Emergency Service for Payne Furnace Error Code 23

If you have a Payne high-efficiency condensing gas furnace, and it suddenly displays Error Code 23 and shuts down, it means that there’s a problem with the indoor exhaust fan or the secondary humidifier. Read on to know more about why my Payne Furnace gives Error Code 23 and how to troubleshoot this issue for best results. If your furnace has an indoor exhaust fan, there could be clogs in the filter or ducts. Cleaning it may solve this problem. If cleaning doesn’t work, you may need to replace the humidifier or check its connection. You must act quickly when your furnace gives you a code because waiting can cause more damage than fixing right away. See below for detailed information on how to troubleshoot this problem effectively by following these steps.

Check the indoor exhaust fan

The indoor exhaust fan is used to remove water vapor, dirt, and dust, which are produced as a part of the furnace’s operation. The indoor exhaust fan is controlled by a limit switch located near the furnace. If the limit switch is faulty, it could cause the fan to run continuously, which might cause overheating and tripping of the circuit breaker or fuse. Check the fan for obstructions and clean it if necessary, particularly if your system is equipped with an indoor air filter. A dirty filter can cause the fan to run longer than necessary, which will use more energy and shorten the lifespan of the fan. If the exhaust fan is clogged, the water vapor will not be drawn out of the house, and this could cause corrosion. If the indoor exhaust fan is not running, you may have a faulty limit switch. To troubleshoot this issue, you can follow the steps given below.

Clean the condenser

The condenser is a part of the outdoor unit that houses the fan and compressor. The condenser is a cage-like structure that is designed to keep leaves, bugs, and rodents away from the outdoor unit. These are generally made of aluminum or copper. The outdoor fan pulls the air through the outside unit and transfers the heat to the outdoor condenser. The outdoor condenser transfers the heat from the outdoor fan to the indoor unit through the interconnecting pipes in the furnace. If there are leaves or rodent nests in the condenser, the fan will not be able to pull air properly and the system will shut down. You can clean the condenser with a broom or a vacuum cleaner. If you find that there are a lot of leaves, twigs, and branches, you can hire a professional to clean the condenser.

Check the connection for the humidifier

This is a part of the outdoor unit that supplies water vapor to the indoor unit. The outdoor humidifier is connected to the outdoor unit’s water circuit. If the humidifier is not connected, water will not flow through it and the fan will not be able to pull the air through the humidifier. The humidifier could have come loose or the pipes could have come loose; hence, it is important to check the connection. The connection could also have come loose due to vibrations caused by the outside unit. You can check the connection by opening the outdoor unit and checking the connection. If the connection is loose, tighten it or reattach it. You can also hire a professional to check the connection.

Troubleshoot Secondary Humidifier

If your furnace is equipped with a secondary humidifier, then this could be the reason for the error code. A secondary humidifier is used during very cold weather conditions or when the primary humidifier is broken. The secondary humidifier is placed in a tray, which is connected to the secondary humidifier port on the outdoor unit. Water is poured into the tray and flows into the secondary humidifier port. The outdoor fan pulls the air through the secondary humidifier. If the humidifier is not working, the outdoor fan will not pull air through the secondary humidifier port. You can check if the humidifier is working by placing your hand over the tray. If you feel the water flowing in the tray, the humidifier is working. If the tray is dry, the humidifier is not working.


If your furnace displays Error Code 23, it means that there’s a problem with the indoor exhaust fan or the secondary humidifier. Make sure these are properly connected or clean them if necessary. If cleaning or re-connecting these does not solve the problem, you may need to call a professional.