If the furnace in your Layton home is properly sized and correctly installed, it should give you a decade or more of reliable service. Notwithstanding this fact, you’ll invariably notice signs of general wear as time goes on. Rust is one of these signs and unfortunately, rust is always a serious issue in home heating systems. This is especially true when it develops at or around the heat exchanger or in ventilation areas. Following are several reasons why your furnace has rust along with a few tips for dealing with it.
High Levels of Humidity and Water Leaks
Wherever there’s an abundance of moisture, the likelihood of rust formation increases. If there’s a leaky pipe near your furnace, you’ll want to have this problem fixed right away. Rain and other forms of moisture build-up can cause water to accumulate in your heater’s return ducts. Failing to address these issues early on will eventually lead to corrosion. To prevent rust formation due to water leaks or pooling water, you can:
- Invest in better drains or use other waterproofing measures such as installing weather stripping, caulking, or new downspouts
- Take care of plumbing problems right away
- Moderate indoor humidity levels with a whole-house dehumidifier
Keeping your furnace and the surrounding areas dry will help keep your home heating equipment rust-free throughout the entirety of its lifespan.
As hot vapors and equally hot gas travel away from your furnace’s warm burner and pass through the heat exchanger to enter the flue, they may cool down and turn into condensation. If this is happening all the time, the resulting water will pool and cause corrosion. It’s important to note that rust can be especially problematic in these areas where potentially hazardous combustion gases are continuously being routed out of the home. If rust in venting areas is left unchecked, it can undermine the integrity of the entire venting system and result in a dangerous gas leak.
If exhaust problems are a suspected issue, you should call a trusted HVAC company right away. HVAC technicians can improve your ventilation system to ensure that pooling water is never a problem. If serious corrosion has already occurred, they may recommend a total system replacement. This is the most likely recommendation for heaters that are already at or nearing the end of their lifespans.
Your Air Conditioner Is Leaking
If you’ve got water pooling around your furnace, your air conditioner could be the culprit. These two units are often installed quite close to one another. In fact, the air conditioner sits just above the furnace in many homes. If your air conditioner’s condensate line is clogged or if its drain pan is cracked, the resulting moisture could cause your furnace to rust. Having your AC equipment inspected and maintained annually is one of the best things that you can do to prevent rust development at your furnace.
Your Furnace Is Too Old to Continue Operating Safely
Rust is far more than an aesthetic issue. When it progresses, it will undermine the integrity of all structures and surfaces it affects. With furnaces, this can leave homeowners at risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Whether you’ve got a rusty heat exchanger or a rusty vent system, it may be best to have your heating equipment replaced.
Although your heater might continue to turn on and distribute warm air, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe for use. When you detect rust, scheduling a heater inspection is the only way to know for certain whether corrosion has opened the door to potential health hazards. Once any significant amount of rust has formed, the costs of addressing it can eventually exceed the costs of replacement. This is all the more true when accounting for age-related losses in efficiency and the resulting increases in your home energy bill. Even with diligent prevention and maintenance, rust at or around your furnace may be an inevitable development with time.
At Smedley Service, we’ve been helping homeowners throughout the greater Layton, Utah, area deal with and prevent furnace rust since 1947. We offer an expansive range of heating, plumbing, and cooling services. We also provide access to a number of top-rated HVAC products. If your furnace is showing signs of developing corrosion, we can help. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment for service.