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What Does Corrosion Mean on a Furnace?


When it comes to home heating, furnaces are a popular choice for their efficiency and reliability. However, like any other appliance, furnaces are not immune to wear and tear over time. One common issue that homeowners may encounter is corrosion. In this post, we will delve into what corrosion means on a furnace, why it’s a problem, and when it might be necessary to consider calling us for heating service in Plattsburgh, NY to replace you furnace.

Understanding Corrosion on a Furnace

Corrosion, in the context of a furnace, refers to the gradual deterioration of the furnace’s components due to chemical reactions and exposure to moisture. This phenomenon can occur for several reasons, making it essential for homeowners to understand its causes.

One primary factor contributing to corrosion is moisture and humidity. Furnaces are typically located in basements or utility rooms where moisture levels can fluctuate. This moisture, when combined with the heat generated by the furnace during its operation, can create an environment conducive to corrosion.

Chemical reactions can also lead to corrosion. The combustion process in a furnace involves the burning of natural gas or oil, which can produce byproducts that are corrosive in nature. Over time, these byproducts can corrode the furnace’s internal components.

Additionally, the age and wear of a furnace can make it more susceptible to corrosion. Older furnaces may have worn-out protective coatings, making them more vulnerable to the elements.

The Consequences of Corrosion

Corrosion on a furnace can lead to a range of problems, affecting both its performance and safety. It’s important to recognize these consequences to take appropriate action

  • Reduced Efficiency: Corroded components can lead to reduced efficiency, causing your furnace to work harder and consume more energy to produce the same amount of heat. This results in higher energy bills.
  • Increased Energy Bills: As mentioned, reduced efficiency means higher energy consumption, which translates into increased heating costs. This can have a significant impact on your household budget over time.
  • Health and Safety Concerns: Corrosion can compromise the integrity of the furnace’s combustion chamber, potentially leading to carbon monoxide leaks. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly if inhaled in high concentrations.
  • Risk of Carbon Monoxide Leaks: Corrosion can also affect the heat exchanger, a crucial component of the furnace. A corroded heat exchanger may develop cracks, allowing combustion gases to escape into your home’s living space, posing serious health risks.

Corrosion and a Cracked Heat Exchanger

One of the critical components in a furnace susceptible to corrosion is the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger plays a crucial role in heating your home by transferring heat from the combustion process to the air circulated through your ducts. Corrosion can weaken the heat exchanger, making it more prone to cracks. A cracked heat exchanger is a serious issue because it can lead to the release of carbon monoxide into your home’s air, posing severe health risks to you and your family.

Call for Professional Help

Given the potential dangers associated with corrosion on a furnace, it’s crucial to know when to seek professional assistance. Furnaces typically have a lifespan of 15–20 years. If your furnace is nearing the end of its expected lifespan and showing signs of corrosion, it may be time to invest in a new, more energy-efficient model.

Red Rock Mechanical, LLC serves Northwest Vermont & Northeast New York. Contact us when you need service or replacement for your furnace.

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