You’ve noticed rust in your heater, on the outside cabinet or perhaps on the inside components. But a furnace doesn’t use water to provide heat the way a boiler or other hydronic system does—how could it develop rust? Does it indicate a serious issue with the furnace?
It might. However, rust does occur in furnaces over time, as we’ll explain. It can lead to serious problems, so no matter how it occurs, you need to have something done about it.
Trust to the more than 85 years of experience at Bell Plumbing and Heating to assist you with your Littleton, CO furnace repair needs.
Rust is the result of oxidation that occurs when metal, oxygen, and water mix. The great danger of rust to metal is that it eats away at the metal and eventually causes it to crumble and flake away. You don’t want this to occur to your furnace, especially along the heat exchangers: if cracks occur in a heat exchanger because of the weakening effect of rust, it can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide leaks.
Your furnace will develop rust over time because of the interaction of the combustion gases with the metal of your furnace. If your furnace has poor venting, the speed of the rust will increase, and you should have a repair specialist investigate the venting issues. Otherwise, the natural rusting will occur so slowly that by the time it becomes an issue, your furnace will probably be ready for replacement anyway.
Moisture from outside can also enter a furnace through the duct work, which can cause the rust to grow. Another possible source for water moisture to look out for is from your air conditioner, which is usually positioned above the furnace unit so the two can share the same blower motor. An AC naturally produces water condensation, and if its condensate pan becomes blocked and overflows, it could drip down onto the furnace. You will need to have both units repaired.
A small amount of rust on a very old furnace shouldn’t worry you—although it may indicate that it’s time for the furnace to receive replacement—but rust on a newer furnace, or a large amount of it, may lead to serious problems. Whether you need to have the venting fixed or damaged heat exchangers replaced, call on HVAC professionals to take care of it. Working on a furnace on your own is dangerous and never recommended.
With our 24-hour emergency heating service offered in Littleton and a long history of customer satisfaction, Bell Plumbing and Heating can perform the furnace repairs necessary to eliminate any rust issues that are eating away at your homes furnace.