Causes and Risks of a Rusty Furnace

Furnace Rust in Concord, NC

Rust refers to the reddish-brown or yellowish flakes that coat iron or steel. This substance forms through the oxidation process, and it mostly occurs in places with high humidity. As you use your furnace, a temperature imbalance may develop inside any sealed-off area. This can generate some moisture that may considerably affect the performance of your system, regardless of how well-built or durable it is. Although you can discourage rust formation in your furnace, it will eventually occur to a certain extent. This is common in furnaces.

Causes of Rust in a Furnace

There are various contributing factors. The following are reasons why your furnace may be rusting.

Moisture and Humidity

Although a furnace doesn’t use water to generate heat, moisture may still contact the unit through the return air duct. After rain or humid weather, moisture in the ventilation system may penetrate the furnace, starting the oxidation process that results in rust. Furthermore, this issue may worsen if the ducts contain breaks that drag in humid air from other parts of your property.

If water is penetrating your house, it’s advisable to invest in waterproofing solutions like improved downspouts and drainage. It would help if you also considered seeking assistance from a plumber to fix any plumbing leaks in your home. A professional plumber can advise you on how to adopt whole-home humidification solutions. Application of these systems maintains suitable humidity levels to prevent moisture-related issues like rust and mold. They also improve indoor air quality.

Leaking Air Conditioner

In most residential HVAC set-ups, the air conditioner system is placed above the furnace to enable the two units to use a common blower. Air conditioners generate water condensation, and the condensation drains away from the condensate pan. If clogging occurs in the drain, the condensation pan overflows, forcing water to drip onto the furnace. This usually creates rust, and you may have to repair both the air conditioner and the furnace.

If you note some leaks in your air conditioner, it’s essential to check your drain pan and observe whether it’s overflowing or damaged. If the drain pan is damaged or cracked, contact a professional for replacement. You can also consider pouring a cup of vinegar down the condensate drain approximately every three months to keep it clean and clear of algae, mold and other blockages.

Combustion Gas Reaction

When it comes to a gas furnace, the combustion gas inside the heat exchanger changes into a liquid vapor as the gas cools down during the heat circle. When this vapor reacts with the furnace metal, it may result in rust. However, you can prevent this by appropriately venting the exhaust. Moreover, rust is usually a sign of a ventilation problem. You should consider consulting a professional to fix the ventilation issues.

A furnace will eventually rust after a sufficiently long period of combustion gas exposure. Therefore, you should consider replacing the system if it has been in operation for over 20 years.

Risks of Rust in a Furnace

Although your furnace will eventually rust, you can derail this and increase the equipment’s lifespan. The best solution is to monitor the unit carefully. The following are risks linked to a rusty furnace.

Clogged Burner Jets

Typically, rust accelerates a unit’s degradation. As a result, the burner jets become clogged, making the system function less efficiently. Moreover, the system will also require more fuel to generate the heat that you need for your comfort. This inefficient functioning may also lead to increased carbon monoxide production, which is harmful to both pets and humans.

Damage in the Furnace Fuel Supply Lines

Rust can also destroy the fuel supply lines. This can lead to an explosion or fire, which is a dangerous situation since it puts your property and family at risk.

Based on these points, significant rust in your system poses a serious danger. Apart from the unsightly and unwanted color of the equipment, a rusty furnace can cause actual risks to your household. A rusty exterior can be an indication that your system’s interior is already corroded by rust.

At All Temp Co., Inc., we offer exceptional heating and air conditioning services for commercial and residential properties in and around Concord. Our technicians perform a full range of installations, repairs and maintenance. In addition, they handle indoor air quality, carbon monoxide alarms, insulation, UV lights, duct sealing and testing, fans and evaporator coils, wine cellar design, energy auditing and thermal imaging. Are you looking for a reputable company to take care of issues with your furnace? Contact us today for more information.

Tags: ,