Your furnace is a vital component of your household. It’s also expensive to replace, so the last thing you want to see is rust on it. Don’t panic. Rust isn’t likely to be more than an eyesore and a sign that you need to get the furnace checked out by a professional. If you’re in the vicinity of Brighton or Thornton, one of our technicians at Lumberjack HVAC would be happy to perform this task for you.

If you want to avoid expensive repairs down the road, take care of it sooner rather than later. While there are several reasons why your furnace can develop rust, these are the five most common causes we’ve seen.

1. Condensation

Condensation occurs within your furnace when moist air moves through and meets metal surfaces within the system. The humid air then turns into water droplets and leaves rust particles behind on the surface of these metal parts.

Condensation is a by-product of high humidity. If you have a humidity level in your home that’s higher than normal, your furnace has to work harder to keep things heated. This can cause excess condensation, which can then turn into rust. An easy way to combat this is by installing a humidifier in your residence.

Leaky ducts and connections that have not been appropriately sealed can also cause condensation. An excellent way to prevent this from occurring is to ensure that you have installed an adequate amount of insulation within your home and are using filters constructed from materials that will not allow moisture through them so easily.

2. Dirty Air Filters

When air passes through it, your air filter picks up bits of dust, debris and any other contaminants in the air. If you have not cleaned your air filter for an extended period, this buildup can cause rust to develop over time on the outside of your unit’s metal frame.

Dirty filters also make your system work harder because they don’t allow enough air into it. This creates excess pressure inside the unit and leads to rust forming on the surfaces that come into contact with hot air. These include coils and burners.

3. Improper Installation

One of the most common reasons for rust formation is poor installation. The metal components of your furnace are given a protective coating that helps maintain the equipment, but that layer can be damaged if the installer doesn’t take proper care during the installation process. For example, if the contractor drilled holes through the protective layer or used a screw or a nail to secure the equipment, cracks in the coating could allow rust to form.

Additionally, when a contractor installs the furnace, he must ensure that the pipes are not touching any of the walls or other surfaces. Corrosion will occur when the pipes come into contact with other parts of the furnace or nearby structures such as walls and ceilings. It can happen when a furnace installer cuts corners or does not perform a thorough inspection before installing the unit.

4. Age of Your Unit

Sometimes rust occurs because your furnace is just getting old and needs to be replaced. Furnaces are usually made from steel, which rusts faster than stainless steel. As your equipment ages, the parts will begin to degrade and corrode due to regular use and wear.

In an old furnace, the main parts of the device may have become faulty. This could apply to the burners, for example. If your burners do not reach high enough temperatures, they have difficulty burning off any moisture present in your system. Naturally, water and heat do not mix well together. Any moisture left inside the furnace will eventually lead to rusting inside the unit.

Most furnaces last about 15 to 20 years before needing replacement, but some models can last longer than others depending on how well they were built and maintained.

5. Lack of Regular Maintenance

People assume that their furnaces won’t need much servicing unless something breaks down, but this is a dangerous misconception. Furnaces require regular cleaning and upkeep to keep them running efficiently. For optimal performance, it’s also essential to check filters every month and change them when necessary.

To prevent rust in your furnace, make sure that you visually inspect it regularly for any of these signs. If you do notice symptoms of rust on its surface, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Lumberjack HVAC. Our trained technicians can determine the cause and ensure no damage has occurred to the internal components. Regular professional maintenance helps you avoid costly repairs. We offer heating, cooling and indoor air quality installation, repair and maintenance services to residents of the Brighton and Thornton areas. Call us at Lumberjack HVAC today to schedule an appointment.

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