Rust and heat exchangers

This was a small carrier furnace MFG in 1992 and did not appear to ever have been serviced on a 300K+ home the right burner was over 1/2 buried in rust thus the orange flame incomplete combustion.

Good eye. What I find often is they don’t ever change the filter. Insufficient air flow equals a hot heat exchanger and that has cracking potential due to lack of designed air flow.:frowning:

Where is this unit located in the house?

This was a 2 story, two systems the upstairs was in the attic storage area and the downstairs unit was in the garage closet. Both units were rusted bad with the upstairs being the worst.


Sounds like you may have a Combustion Air (C/A) problem, unless you’ve found a water leak (ie: vent, Evap.Coil pan, airflow/blowby, etc.) based on you locations.
That’s a problem that may start showing up in the new homes, in greater numbers, as the Building industry starts going to incapsulated/insulated Attics and Crawlspaces. There will probably be a learning curve/inspection problems as everyone works to get on the same page. I think in the mean time, houses will be built, inspections will be missed/errors made, and we’ll be seeing the effects as H/I’s down the road.
What do you think?

Yep and it’s the right chamber. They like to crack in the back on the right hand side where the chamber tapers.

I saw something very similar to this on a rental property I inspected. As a matter of fact it was the first home inspection I ever did for pay. The landlord called me and booked the inspection. The renters had moved out because the couldn’t pay the bills. She said they claimed to be sick and couldn’t work. But she thought they was just lazy deadbeats. As a new guy I didn’t know exactly what I was looking at, but suspected something was wrong. I recommended a HVAC pro to evaluate the entire system. But knowing what a tighta$$ the landlord was, recommended strongly putting in a CO detector. Well she did and it went off, right away. So then she thought she got a bad detector, took it back to Walmart and got another. It went off to. The heat exchanger was rusted and cracked and putting Carbon Monoxide into the home. Lucky some people did not die here. I realized that day that how I do my job can be a matter of life and death. I am glad I learned that lesson early in my business.