Rust on HVAC equipment

When most homeowners think of potential issues with their furnace, rust isn’t one that is typically near the top of the list. That’s likely because your furnace doesn’t require water to function like a boiler, and if there are no leaks and it’s on level ground, why would you have to think about rust? And not only that, what does rust in your furnace mean? 

Keep reading to discover common causes of rust in your furnace and some possible solutions. 

Possible Furnace Rust Causes   

When metal, oxygen and moisture mix together they can form an iron oxide we know as rust. When left alone to accumulate, rust can eat away at metal, including your furnace, which can cause some serious problems. They include gases like carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide or sulfur dioxide getting into your living spaces. Some of the causes of rust forming in your furnace include: 

Water Leaks and High Humidity – If you have a water leak that results in moisture around your furnace, the added moisture can cause rust. Also, if you have a humid home, moisture can get into your heating system through return ducts. 

Dripping Air Conditioning – Many homeowners have a combo furnace and AC, and in some cases, condensation that is created in the evaporator coils doesn’t drain properly and drips onto your furnace, causing rust. 

Improper Vapor Ventilation – This can occur when gases and vapors move from the burner through the heat exchanger and toward the flue. As they cool, they can turn into water vapor and without proper ventilation, the water vapor can corrode the metal. 

Furnace Rust Solutions   

The solution to your furnace rust problem begins and ends with professional service. Whether it’s a ventilation issue, a water leak around the furnace, high humidity in your house or some other issue causing moisture to get in there, you need an HVAC specialist to take a look and determine what the best course of action might be. 

Most of the time, an experienced HVAC technician will try to fix the problem first, but if a repair isn’t going to get the job done, it might be time for a new furnace. A furnace replacement isn’t what most homeowners want to hear, but if it’s a matter of safety or if the repairs are just going to keep mounting due to the accumulation of rust, then a replacement may be the best course of action.

Technician fixing HVAC system

The Importance of Annual Maintenance 

The key to catching furnace issues before they get out of hand is to schedule annual furnace maintenance with a professional HVAC technician. When you have maintenance before the heating season, we will be able to detect any problems, including rust, and make the necessary repairs so your furnace runs smoothly all winter and the problem doesn’t get worse.

Keeping your furnace in tip-top shape is our number one priority. Yearly furnace maintenance will catch issues before they become a problem. Contact us today. 

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