Furnaces are less likely to rust than air conditioners, but that doesn’t mean that your furnace is protected from corrosion. In fact, there are a number of factors that can cause your furnace to rust. Unfortunately, a rusty heater is not only unsightly, but it can reduce the unit’s performance and even lead to hazardous situations like carbon monoxide leaks.
For those reasons, the Frederick heating experts at Weather Masters Corp. always recommend having a rusty furnace professionally inspected. We’ll let you know what’s causing the unit to rust and make sure that it gets the service it needs to keep your home safe and comfortable all winter long.
1. Excessive Humidity
Even though your furnace is located indoors where it’s safe and dry, it can still come into contact with moisture and humidity. This most commonly occurs when moisture is drawn into the furnace via the return air ducts. Ductwork is built to be airtight, but old age and improper installation can lead to loose connections that introduce moisture into the system. Over time, this unwanted moisture can corrode the internal components of the furnace, leading to mechanical failures, costly repairs, and even premature replacement.
2. Blocked Condensate Line
Your furnace contains a drain line and exhaust line to safely remove moisture and gas produced during the combustion process. When the drain line is unobstructed, moisture is routed away from the furnace and safely disposed of. If the line is clogged, blocked, or cracked, the moisture will instead remain within the furnace where it will trigger the corrosion process.
If your home has a setup like this, it’s crucial to have a full-system tune-up each year. During the tune-up, a technician will examine both the AC and heater for signs of damage. This is the best way to avoid a disaster since a technician will catch signs of minor damage and repair them before they worsen.
Furnaces are sturdy and reliable, but they’re not made to last forever. Older furnaces may begin to naturally rust as they age. Years of exposure to combustion, exhaust, and ambient moisture can take a toll on the unit. If your furnace is rusting and is more than a decade old, your best option is to replace the unit instead of attempting to treat the rust. Any repair solution will be costly and only delay the inevitable by a couple of years at most. Plus, newer furnaces are more reliable and energy efficient.
4. Leaky AC Unit
In some homes, the air conditioning unit is installed directly above the furnace. While this is convenient and space-saving, it, unfortunately, means that a leaky AC can drip directly onto the unit below. This situation can quickly lead to rust on both the heater’s surface and internal components.
Air conditioners have a couple of features that are designed to prevent leaks, but they’re only effective if the unit is well-maintained. The condensate pan is one of these features. However, if the fan becomes clogged or blocked, it will overflow onto the furnace. This situation is a double whammy for homeowners because it means both your AC and furnace require service. Luckily, this situation can usually be avoided with a solid heating and cooling maintenance routine.
5. Byproduct of Combustion
Traditional gas furnaces rely on a process called combustion to generate heat. During combustion, a device called the heat exchanger turns gas into a vapor with a high liquid content. In properly vented furnaces, this vapor is expelled via an exhaust system. But, if for some reason the exhaust system isn’t functioning correctly, the vapor can come into contact with metal surfaces and cause them to rust. This is why rust is usually the first sign that your heater is experiencing a ventilation problem.
Your Furnace Pros in Frederick
Has your once shiny and chrome furnace become overrun by rust? If the answer is “yes,” then it’s best to contact Weather Masters Corp. sooner than later. Our expert furnace technicians will inspect your system to determine what’s causing the rust and whether repairs or replacement is the best option. Weather Masters Corp. is proud to provide top-notch heating and cooling services, including repairs, maintenance, and installations. We’re also adept with servicing boilers and can handle your installation and repairs.
If you’re ready to schedule heating service in Frederick, MD, reach out to the team at Weather Masters Corp. today!