How Does Rust Hurt Your Furnace and Heating System?

Homeowners who routinely inspect their furnace and heating system can sometimes overlook the presence of rust. Rust is more than just a cosmetic problem for your system. It can also lead to considerable damage later. The first step in preventing problems from rust is knowing what could potentially occur if rust develops.

Heat Pump

Rust results from a reaction between oxygen, iron, and moisture. The heat pump in your furnace and heating system produces condensation as it operates. Unfortunately, this means it is particularly vulnerable to the development of rust. The rust can lead to performance issues with different components of the heat pump assembly, including the motor. A non-functioning motor means no heat for your home.

Heat Exchangers

Although it might take some time for rust to develop in the heat exchangers, it can. When this happens, the rust can cause the exchangers to crack. The cracks allow for carbon monoxide to leak from the system, which is not only a health hazard but can also lead to an increase in the risk of an explosion occurring.


The area surrounding the burner in your furnace and heating system needs to be clear to properly function. When the burner develops rust, the airflow to it is restricted, which can impact its performance. A poorly functioning burner will have to work harder to provide the heat needed, which can cause your energy bills to skyrocket. It can also cause your system to make loud noises while it is operating.

An easy way to avoid all these potential problems with rust is to schedule regular maintenance checkups. In addition to ensuring that rust is not a problem for your furnace and heating system, a skilled HVAC technician can help you find ways to protect your system in the future. If your system already has rust developing, schedule an appointment with Cunningham Associates immediately before the problem worsens.

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