You may have recently turned your furnace on to combat the recent rush of chilled winter air. While completing your regular check-up, there might have been rust developing on the outer case. Don’t start worrying yet. Rust is a common sign of an aging furnace. However, it’s important you know what’s causing the rust in case it’s a more serious issue with the furnace’s environment or how it’s functioning. Here are a few common reasons your furnace may be rusting and what you can do to protect your home and your budget.
Importance of Addressing Rust
Many furnaces will begin to rust due to age and frequent seasonal use. Furnaces often have to be replaced every 10 to 15 years due to overall decreasing function and parts constantly breaking and needing to be replaced. Rust can naturally develop due to the combustion gases reacting with the metal over time. However, not all rust is due to nearby water leaks or the furnace’s age and could actually be a sign of a serious issue in your HVAC system or the home. It’s essential to address rust the moment you discover it to minimize damage to other parts of the furnace or the ductwork.
Rust will slowly eat away at the metal, diminishing its integrity and spreading more damage. Delicate parts of the furnace can rust over and break, increasing utility bills as the furnace loses efficiency. Rust could even lead to the heat exchanger cracking or breaking, resulting in toxic gases leaking into the home. Don’t risk carbon monoxide poisoning and address furnace issues as soon as possible.
It’s essential for you to carefully assess your furnace and HVAC system regularly during the year so you can spot new issues that could develop into bigger problems. Always check thoroughly for signs of deterioration or corrosion in every visible and accessible area of the furnace. Recognizing the cause of the rust and calling in a professional can keep your family and your home safe.
Common Causes of Furnace Rust
Rust can develop at any time on a furnace if its environment is too humid or damp. Basements often hold more humidity than the rest of the home, resulting in mold, damp floors, and paint that never seems to dry. There could also be a leaking pipe nearby or issues with the foundation that are causing water to leak into the home. Your air conditioning unit may also be leaking directly into or around the furnace.
Air conditioners often utilize a drain pan and condensation drain to safely remove water when the machine is running during the summer. However, due to issues with the drain pan, condensation drain, or the HVAC system, this water can begin to trickle down and settle in the furnace. You may not notice this issue for several months or until you go to check the furnace for the new season. This consistent water leak may cause rust to develop inside the furnace or on its metal cabinet.
Rust can also form due to the furnace itself and how its combustion gases are being filtered outside. Furnaces run by heating up combustion gases that then heat up regular air to pump around the home. As these combustion gases are cooled down and released safely outside, they can create water vapor that remains in the ductwork. This issue can be minimized by proper air ventilation but will often eventually result in the furnace and ductwork needing to be replaced. Consistent condensation will lead to rust developing and spreading in the ductwork.
Gas furnaces utilize hot air and exhaust pipes to keep moisture out of the vents while heating the home safely. No matter how diligent you are with cleaning and maintaining your furnace, it’s possible that rust may develop in the ductwork or in the finer parts of the HVAC system. Rust is a common furnace issue and should eventually be expected with older machines. Rather than risking your family and your home, you should contact an experienced technician as soon as possible to give you a professional opinion and the best options moving forward.
How to Resolve Rust Issues
There are a few ways to minimize the risk of rust and to create a better, safer environment for your furnace. To safely resolve HVAC issues and keep your furnace running as efficiently as possible, always trust an experienced professional technician. A furnace is a complicated machine in your home that requires professional installation as well as regular repair and maintenance when needed.
If your home is suffering from excessive humidity or leaking in the basement, you may need to utilize dehumidifiers and waterproofing services. Any leaking pipes should be addressed and excess water removed from the basement. Take care to search thoroughly for signs of water leaks from inside and outside the home.
Humid climates can also affect the overall moisture in your basement. Look out for signs of moldy carpets or walls, musty odors, standing water, damaged objects, or frequent condensation on the windows. High humidity will affect all belongings and structures in the basement, not just the furnace. To save important belongings and create a safe place to live in, monitor your basement’s humidity and adjust as needed.
The best way to stop rust from taking over your furnace is to call in professionals who are experienced and certified in taking care of HVAC systems. While it may seem easier and cheaper to take care of small repairs and maintenance by yourself, there are many small parts in a furnace that are essential to how it functions. It’s very easy for those parts to become damaged due to untrained human error.
Professional technicians use their expertise to save you time and money. Rather than risking further costs from allowing the rust to develop, you can save money by bringing in a technician on a regular basis for basic maintenance. Regular furnace check-ups can prolong the life of a furnace and save you from having to buy one before it’s necessary. Technicians can also spot issues that may not be easily visible or common knowledge to those not trained in the field.
Don’t let rust take over your furnace and cost you thousands of dollars in repairs. Rely on a professional who can spot the problem and address it as soon as possible. The safest way to maintain your furnace and the safety of your home is with professional, expert service.
Trust the Professionals
Don’t worry about accidentally damaging your furnace while making a repair or addressing a rust infestation by yourself. Trust Christian Brothers for all your home’s electric, heating, cooling, and plumbing needs in the Glendale and Phoenix Metro, Arizona, areas. Our technicians and contractors are trained and licensed to find the best solution for your home. You can trust our more than 40 years of experience in the business serving Arizona families. We offer duct repair, heating, and cooling maintenance and installation, water heaters, and emergency plumbing services. You can expect great prices for excellent professional service and quality care. Call Christian Brothers to get in touch with one of our technicians.