Your furnace will show deterioration in the course of its lifetime. One sign of an aging furnace is corrosion on the surface or components of your heating system. In this article, we will explore some factors that cause rusting and what to do about it.
What Causes Your Furnace to Rust?
Your furnace may accumulate rust due to several factors. The surrounding environment could contribute to corrosion on parts of your equipment. Condensation from vents and air conditioner leaks are other factors you ought to consider.
Humidity and Moist Environments
If you spot rust on your furnace, the source of the problem could be within its vicinity. Look out for faulty plumbing leaking water near your equipment. The water turns to vapor when it’s hot outside and may form condensation when temperatures drop.
Even though Las Vegas has low humidity levels for most of the year, a leaking roof can introduce moisture. If your home lacks proper insulation, the heat will carry the vapor and dispose of it on surfaces. The presence of other chemical compounds in the water can speed up the rate of corrosion.
Rusting From Air Conditioning Leaks
Another possible cause of furnace corrosion is leakages from the air conditioner. In packaged systems, the AC is integrated with the heater’s ductwork. When there is moisture buildup from the AC, it may find its way into your furnace.
Moisture problems are sometimes an indication of an inefficient cooling system. When running optimally, your air conditioner can utilize the evaporator coils to get rid of vapor.
A humidity problem in your home could indicate the refrigerant is running low or leaking. Grime and dust on the coil can act as a layer of insulation that prevents heat absorption. Consult Polar Air & Heating, Inc. in Las Vegas for comprehensive comfort services.
Condensation from Exhaust Fumes
The furnace may also be producing the moisture that is causing widespread rusting. The heating system expels the hot gases, which often contain considerable amounts of moisture. When the gases cool down, they form into water droplets on parts of the furnace.
Typically, the furnace should dispel fumes to the outdoors. But due to an issue with the flue system, the hot gases may get a chance to cool down before exiting the furnace.
Issues concerning the vent and exhaust system can be hazardous to your family. Always ensure the carbon monoxide detectors are in working condition. If you detect a problem with the exhaust system, switch off your furnace and contact a professional.
Condensing Furnace Heat Exchanger
Also, the most recent models are condensing furnaces. They have a second heat exchanger that absorbs excess gas from the exhaust. They can generate considerable amounts of moisture as the hot gases become colder.
If the condensate line is clogged, the water can spill out of the drain system. A clogged drain can also force your system to activate a shutdown mechanism. Therefore, it’s advisable to keep the drain line clear and free from debris.
Substandard Furnace Installations
Some problems can arise during installation that may increase the likelihood of rust developing on your furnace. An improper venting system can trap exhaust gases, allowing moisture to accumulate before the exhaust fumes exit the flue.
A substandard installation may also cause frequent clogging in the condensate drain line. The design of the drain line should carry away the moisture from the system. Otherwise, water spills will increase the rate of rusting on your furnace.
For the longevity of your furnace, consult a professional throughout the installation process. An experienced technician can identify factors leading to moisture problems and propose lasting solutions. You can talk to our knowledgeable and professional crew from Polar Air & Heating, Inc. for trusted heating installations in Las Vegas.
How Rust Impacts Performance
Rust can deteriorate components in your system, leading to reduce performance. The burner may develop corrosion, which constricts the flow of gas. Your heating system will then have to work harder to heat your home adequately.
Rust can also inhibit some moving parts in your heating system. A faulty motor will produce screeching sounds that impact your home’s comfort. Lubrication during annual maintenance prevents friction and corrosion on furnace components.
Rust is usually not a good conductor of electricity or heat. So, it can insulate electrical components, thus causing malfunctions. The furnace control board may deteriorate and could fail to signal the system correctly.
Furnace Corrosion and Your Home’s Safety
Furnace corrosion often raises safety concerns that you should not ignore. Rusting encourages the heat exchanger to deteriorate rapidly, causing cracks and rust holes. At that stage, you may have to replace the heat exchanger.
A heat exchanger is often sealed to prevent toxic gases from escaping. Holes allow the fumes to escape and find their way into your home. Exhaust gases may contain carbon monoxide, which can be dangerous for your family.
Another consequence of rust is blockages on the gas supply line. When rusting blocks the pipes, the gas can escape, causing explosions and fire hazards.
Do You Need to Replace Your Furnace?
Corrosion can lead to the rapid wear and tear of your furnace components. Not only will its performance deteriorate, but your heating system can fail prematurely. You may encounter more repair issues because your furnace is working harder than it should.
Furnaces have a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. If your furnace is over a decade old and showing signs of corrosion, it may be time to replace it.
While a new furnace is a considerable investment, it could be a wiser decision in the long run. A furnace that frequently fails can raise repair costs.
Additionally, modern systems have advanced features that can extend your heating system’s longevity. For example, variable-speed motors can get rid of moisture more effectively than single-speed motors in conventional models.
For safety, condensing furnaces have a sealed chamber that pulls air for combustion from outside the house. One advantage of the system is that it reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Condensing furnaces are also more efficient and provide greater comfort than older systems.
How to Prevent Furnace Corrosion
The best way to prevent corrosion is to address the factors that could trigger widespread humidity problems in your home. You may want to consider conducting an energy audit of the building. The process can determine if there are leaks or insulation problems that you ought to fix.
Avoid skipping your furnace’s annual maintenance schedule. Corrosion can gradually damage components in your furnace. A tune-up process will detect rusting or cracking on the heat exchanger before it becomes expensive to fix.
A professional tune-up will maintain the status of your warranty. If a furnace component like the heat exchanger fails, your manufacturer will replace it. Skipping maintenance will eventually increase the frequency of repairs and your furnace’s running costs.
You can rely on our NATE-certified technicians for Google-guaranteed services in Las Vegas. We offer trusted heating and cooling services, indoor air quality solutions, and ductless mini-split systems. Our team has a reputation for meticulous craftsmanship and building lasting relationships with our clients. Polar Air & Heating, Inc. is a Lennox Premier Dealer, but our staff can fix virtually all models in Las Vegas. Contact us today for more information on our discounts and offers.