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Why Is There Rust on My Furnace?

Dec 13, 2021 | Heating

Many industrial metals will eventually show signs of rust. Furnaces can begin to develop rust on the inside components as well as on the outside cabinet. While this should be expected to occur eventually, it can be worrying when you discover rust on your furnace for the first time and aren’t sure how it’s developing. Rust can be a natural occurrence on an aging furnace, but it can also indicate that something is going wrong in the system that needs to be addressed by a technician immediately. Learn more about rust in your furnace and when you should bring in a professional for maintenance and repairs.

Reasons Rust Forms

Rust will often form in a furnace due to nearby water leaks or naturally through the interaction between the metal and combustion gases. Gas and electric furnaces today don’t use any water or moisture when heating the home, often causing you to question how the rust developed. The air conditioning is one source in a home’s HVAC system that produces water constantly while running during the summer. The majority of this water should be directed safely through the home’s ductwork to keep it away from the rest of the HVAC. However, leaks can occur that allow water to drip down and sit at the bottom of the furnace, rusting the metal there.

Rust may also develop if there is water leaking from nearby pipes or if the air in the home is incredibly humid. The climate of your environment can affect how fast your furnace will rust. The humidity in the basement can often be much worse than in the rest of the home. Additionally, using water as normal inside a home in a humid environment can exacerbate the rusting issue in the furnace. Humid basements are often characterized by damp walls or floors, musty air, growing mold and discolored walls or paint. This excessive humidity can be offset by utilizing a dehumidifier in the home and basement to minimize how much water vapor is affecting and damaging the system.

The last big reason rust may be forming in your furnace is due to its exhaust system. While the furnace is heating the air, it can create more humidity in the home as a by-product. As the heated air is pushed out of the furnace and through the vents, condensation may form in the ductwork and system as the air cools. This will quicken rust development and lead to other issues in the HVAC system and around the home. Every instance of furnace rust should be checked by an experienced technician who can determine the cause and the best way to correct the problem. When spotting rust for the first time, check the rest of the furnace for any other signs of leaking, corrosion, unpleasant odor and discoloration.

Rust in the Ductwork

Furnaces can develop rust for a number of reasons that can also affect the ductwork. Rust can spread along the ducts and pose a significant health hazard to everyone in the home. Mold often develops alongside rust due to higher moisture levels, which opens the door for pests and insects to move into the ducts. It’s often not enough to just treat the rust in the furnace. Moisture in the HVAC system can spread along all of its attached parts and affect the health and well-being of everyone living in the house. Rust in the ductwork should be addressed as soon as possible before it can decrease air quality, affect furnace efficiency and cause further damage to the HVAC system.

Risks of Furnace Rust

Once you spot rust developing on any area of the furnace, you should contact a professional to get an inspection. Rust can eat away at the furnace’s efficiency, causing an increase in bills while the temperature in the home becomes more inconsistent. Burner jets and fuel supply lines can rust and ultimately fail, costing you more money than necessary. If a bigger problem like leaking water or humidity is causing the rust, this can lead to having to replace the entire furnace system years ahead of schedule.

Every type of furnace can begin to develop rust. A home’s heating and cooling system is key to maintaining healthy airflow and quality. When parts begin to rust, break down or corrode, the entire system will suffer. Rust spreads if the source of moisture continues to be present, bringing in mold and pests that are circulated around the home as air continues to be pushed out of the vents. Sensitive family members will experience more discomfort, and at-risk populations will be more likely to develop respiratory illnesses.

Rust in a furnace can cause a domino effect of issues in the home. Rather than taking a risk by addressing the rust yourself or ignoring small signs of corrosion, contact a professional to get a home check. An inspection can save you expensive repairs in the future.

Benefits of a Professional Technician

Technicians are trained and certified in installing and maintaining HVAC systems. They know the signs of serious damage and can pinpoint when there may be too much moisture in the air around the furnace. Technicians bring years of experience when they service your HVAC system. This experience allows them to avoid making mistakes that could negatively affect the system as a whole. They’re formally trained in maintenance and repair to ensure the home can continue to function as normal.

By hiring professional technicians, you gain all the benefits of their efficiency, care and knowledge. More damage can be done when attempting to repair or install an HVAC system yourself. There are many small parts in a furnace that are all necessary for it to function as intended. Those not trained in furnace repair can cause more damage than if a professional was hired. More money will be saved over time when hiring a technician who can provide regular maintenance.

Annual heating and cooling maintenance is much cheaper overall than replacing a system that has been damaged beyond repair by accidents and unchecked rust. Investing in professional service ensures the furnace is secure for all family members and safe for regular seasonal use.

Hansen Super Techs

Rust on a furnace can be caused by a bigger issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Rather than hoping it’s a natural part of aging, confirm there are no water leaks or system issues by hiring a professional technician trained to keep your home safe. Hansen Super Techs is a heating and cooling, electric and plumbing business serving Mobile, AL, Baldwin County and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Our repair technicians are highly trained and ready to help you with every HVAC issue your home may be experiencing. We can help businesses and residences maintain air ducts, install or repair the furnace or air conditioner, check air quality and more. We can help you quickly and easily deal with the rust in your furnace before it becomes a bigger issue. Call Hansen Super Techs to get in contact with one of our experienced technicians today.