Since furnaces do not use water or steam to produce heat, you wouldn’t expect to find rust on them, but you’re almost certain to come across a little of it on a furnace’s surface or inside its compartments. Oxidation is normal, and as long as there’s not too much, there’s no cause for concern. A great deal of rust is another matter. Are you wondering where the rust could have come from? Here are some possible causes.
High Levels of Humidity
Humidity is water vapor or gaseous water found in the air. Although you can’t see it, humidity is everywhere. Some areas have higher levels than others. Also, different times of the year have varying magnitudes of humidity depending on the temperature. Such high volumes could bring about rust on your furnace. Also, water leakage around the heater increases humidity in the air and predisposes the furnace to rust.
A furnace works by burning fuel to produce the heat that warms your home. However, as the exhaust pipe or blower expels warm air, a vacuum is left. Naturally, cold air rushes in to fill it. If the area has high humidity, the cooler air has a lot of water vapor in it.
When exposed to heat, the vapor turns into steam that collects when the furnace is turned off, forming pools of water inside the exhaust pipe. The exposure to water leads to oxidation, thus the presence of rust.
Water Leakage in an HVAC System
Rust on your furnace could also be an aftereffect of water leakage from a centralized air conditioner adjoining the heater. When cooling a room, the AC condenses vapor into water. If the connecting ducts were poorly installed, the leaking water is bound to get into your furnace. When it comes into contact with iron, it forms rust in the internal parts. The damage caused by such an occurrence can be extensive. You should contact an expert to help you solve the rust problem since it affects the interior of your furnace.
What Are the Effects of Rust on Your Furnace?
Rust is bound to get to a furnace system one way or another no matter how careful you are at minimizing water exposure, but there are some steps that you can take to prevent this. They include the following:
- Protecting the surfaces using powder coating or paint
- Conducting regular system inspections and maintenance
- Reporting incidences of rust to a professional who can help eliminate it immediately
- Adding valves to AC ducts to prevent water vapor from getting into the furnace
When rust attacks your furnace, it can result in some serious problems. Let’s consider them.
Corrosion in the Ignition Chamber
You will notice that the furnace uses more fuel than before and produces inadequate heat. That results from rust corroding parts of the ignition system.
Fuel Blockage in the Burner
Rust eats away at the metallic parts of your furnace, causing degradation. When it gets to the burner, it could cause fuel blockage, affecting proper functionality of the combustion chamber.
Production of Dangerous Fumes
Rust in the ignition chamber can cause the furnace to produce large amounts of carbon monoxide or other toxic fumes. Such gases are dangerous to both people and pets in your home.
Accidents Due to Fuel Line Damage
Rust on fuel lines affects proper flow of gas into the ignition chamber, leading to irregular amounts of fuel supply. An undersupply overworks the ignition system while an oversupply could cause flares-ups inside the furnace. Over time, such irregularities damage the heater.
Exposure to Fire Hazards
Corrosion of fuel lines by rust could result in fuel leakage, exposing your home to a fire hazard. If you fail to address the issue promptly, the leaking fuel could cause a fire, leading to injuries or death.
Rely on the Experts
You can prevent rust from forming on your furnace by conducting regular inspections. It is important to contact an expert to do this for you since DIY inspections can result in accidents or burns. A professional technician understands the ins and out of handling a furnace. They will inspect the furnace for you and help you get rid of any rust.
At Hunter’s Air & Heat, Inc, we have a team of furnace specialists ready to assist you. We’re located on FM442 in Boling-Iago, and we serve the entire surrounding area. Our technicians perform both heating and cooling installation, repair and maintenance. Not only that, but we can also insulate your attic, seal your ducts, test your indoor air quality or fabricate sheet metal for your needs.
If you require any of those services or you’re concerned about rust in your furnace, call us at Hunter’s Air & Heat, Inc today.