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Is Your Heating System Rusting? Here Are Three Reasons Why.

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The average life of a gas furnace is more than a decade (assuming it receives professional heating service every year). But nothing lasts forever, and eventually your furnace is going to start showing its age.

One sign of wear you might find on a furnace is rust, which can become a serious problem – especially if that rust occurs in the heat exchanger or ventilation areas, where corrosion could release dangerous exhaust gases (carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous dioxide) into your living area.

So what causes rust on a furnace, and how do you prevent it? Let’s take a look.

Three causes of rust on a heating furnace

Here are three ways that rust can form on your furnace, and what to do to prevent it.

1. Water leaks or high humidity – Water from pipe or rainwater leaks can cause a buildup of moisture near your furnace, and an over-humid home can cause moisture to accumulate in the return ducts of your heating system.

Solutions:

  • Improve basement drains and outdoor downspouts, and reseal exterior windows and doors with caulking and weather stripping
  • Address plumbing issues promptly
  • Consider managing humidity with a humidifier/dehumidifier

2. A/C leaks – In many HVAC systems, your furnace and air conditioning units are installed close to or even on top of one another; if your air conditioner leaks, that moisture can get in the furnace. A cracked drain pan or clogged condensate line can also leak into your furnace, eventually causing rust.

Solution:

  • Get professional HVAC maintenance every year.
  • Check your drain pan to see if it is damaged or overflowing. If it is, call a professional to have the faulty part replaced.
  • Pour about a cup of vinegar down the condensate drain line every 3 months or so to keep it clear. If you’re not sure how to do this, contact your A/C service team.

3. Exhaust issues – As hot gases and vapors move away from the heat of the burner and toward the flue through the heat exchanger, they may cool and form water vapor, which can pool and corrode the heat exchanger and flue.

Solution:

If your furnace is more than 12 to 15 years old and you notice signs of corrosion, it’s time to think about a furnace upgrade – Contact Hocon today to get a FREE, no obligation estimate on a new, high-efficiency gas furnace installation in CT!