3 Reasons Your Furnace Is Rusting

image of a furnace that has rust

They say that rust never sleeps, and that is as true about your home heating system as it is about anything else. While rust is especially prevalent in humid climates, the mere act of using your furnace creates temperature imbalances. These imbalances can actually manufacture some of the moisture that will eventually cut down even the most reliable and well-built heating systems.

You might be able to extend the life of your system by never using it, but that isn’t an option for those who live in cold climates. All you could do is put off the day of reckoning but that day will eventually arrive, no matter what you do about it. Rust in furnace is more common than you may realize. In this article, we discuss some of the common causes of this problem.

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What Causes Rust In A Furnace?

Professionals will tell you that there are three highly likely causes of rust in your heating system.

Water Leaks Or High Humidity

The first cause for rust is humidity, which is the percentage of water vapor in the air. Some areas have higher humidity than others as a simple environmental factor. These conditions can be aggravated by putting additional water into the air in your own limited micro-climate that you call your house. Water leaks are a prime suspect in these cases.

Air Conditioner Leaks

outdoor condenser for air conditioner

The second is a very specific sort of water leak that is frequently associated directly with the heating system. These are water leaks that stem from an air conditioning unit. Water is a definite by-product of any A/C system. Since many modern air conditioners are centralized units, that means they are integrated directly into the furnace ductwork. Air conditioning leaks can thus go right into your home’s heating system. This not just ramps up the ambient humidity but can also create actual pools of standing water in very inconvenient places.

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Furnace Exhaust Issues

The third is also a by-product of the operation of your home’s heating and cooling systems. The physical process of creating heat in the furnace itself can also lead to higher humidity in the surrounding structure. The very hot air produced in the furnace cools as it leaves the burner and this can create condensation inside the system.

What Are The Risks Of Rusty Furnaces?

The short answer about rusty furnaces is that they will all rust eventually. Even if it takes a century, rust will win. There are things you can do to make sure that day happens far, far into the future rather than having it crop up in the next few years. The most important thing to do is watch carefully.

Annual Furnace Maintenance

image of an hvac contractor performing annual furnace maintenance

An annual furnace maintenance inspection is a critical part of this strategy. This reasonably-priced service is far more cost-effective than having to replace the entire heating system. During an annual inspection, an HVAC contractor will check for rust, ensuring the safety and performance of your furnace.

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Clogged Burner Jets

Rust itself will eventually degrade the performance of your system. Clogged burner jets run less efficiently and require more fuel to create the same amount of heat. Worse, this inefficient burning can lead to extremely elevated levels of dangerous carbon monoxide gas.

Furnace Fuel Supply Lines

Rust can also cause fuel supply lines to fail. This can obviously create an incredibly dangerous fire or explosion hazard in your home. Local news programs often feature stunning video footage of where someone’s home or business used to be. Now there is just a smoldering pile of wreckage.

That is the real danger of rust in your system. Creating an actual hazard to your family is not the same as some unsightly orange streaks on the outside of the cabinet. By the time you as a homeowner notice those rust streaks on the outside of the unit, the insides could be completely ruined.

Repair Furnace Issues Promptly

image of act now when concerning furnace repair

Apart from religiously keeping up on your annual inspections, the next thing to do is to fix furnace issues expeditiously. An annual inspection can reveal the causes for any rust building up in your system. These conditions need to be eliminated or ameliorated as far as possible and as soon as possible. Once this is taken care of, any degraded parts of the system need to be repaired as well.

Of course, not all systems can be salvaged. Others can, but the cost necessary to bring them back up to peak operating condition may not be worth it. An older system at ultimate efficiency is often still far less efficient than a new system running at less-than-peak efficiency. The homeowner has no way of knowing these factors unless they consult with a professional who does.

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HVAC contractors understand that everybody has different circumstances. They can lay out the cost-benefit ratios in an understandable way and then let the homeowner choose the one that is best tailored to their own preferences. The important thing to keep in mind is that keeping rust at bay leaves them with far more options to choose from. Once rust has taken hold, those options can narrow to the point where full replacement becomes imperative due to safety concerns.

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Call McAllister Energy For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

McAllister Energy

McAllister Energy offers superior heating and cooling services in Camden County, New Jersey. We hire the best-certified technicians who can provide you with excellent HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each of our techs has the knowledge and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.

McAllister Energy guarantees the most competitive heating and cooling service costs in the area. Our maintenance services can improve your comfort, increase your energy efficiency while reducing your home heating and cooling costs. If you happen to need an HVAC repair or replacement system, we can recommend the best one for your home while staying within your budget. We back all of our work with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. To schedule a service appointment, give McAllister Energy a call today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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