What To Do About A Rusty Air Conditioner?

What to do when you have a rusty air conditioner? Learn effective AC cleaning tips to address rust issues and maintain your home air conditioner.

Updated on Oct 22, 2023
5 min read
What To Do About A Rusty Air Conditioner?

Air conditioners are designed to withstand the rigors and stresses of everyday life, but inadequate maintenance will cause them to break down sooner than expected. Excessive moisture content due to humidity or high temperatures, water condensation on the inside of the unit, accumulation of dirt and debris in the drain hole and lack of regular cleaning can lead to rust on ACs.You might think that a single piece of rust might not do that much damage, but rusty components are highly susceptible to further corrosion and can become a breeding ground for damaging bacteria. Although it is usually just a cosmetic drawback, rust can adversely affect the air conditioner's efficiency.

Tips to Tackle Rust on Your AC Unit

The presence of rust on your AC unit can be counterproductive to maintain comfort in your home. While this problem is hard to tackle, there are some effective tips you can use to deal with it. Here are some of them:

  • Clean the surface. You will need to thoroughly clean your air conditioner before handling rust problems. Use warm water and soap to remove dirt and grime from the areas where rust might have formed.
  • Apply rust remover or sandpaper. After cleaning, apply a rust remover or sandpaper, depending on how severe the problem is. Do not use this method if other parts may be affected by it, like electrical wiring or other electrical equipment that could cause sparks from friction or heat generated from rubbing against metal surfaces during application and removal. If you have to use this method, take extra caution and wear protective gear such as goggles or gloves to avoid getting injured during this process.
  • Treat with silicone spray paint or primer sealer spray paint after removing all loose and flaky rust using a wire brush for better results.

Ways to Prevent Rust on Your AC Unit

Allowing rust to accumulate inside your air conditioner can cause significant damage to your unit. Not only does rust clog up vents and reduce airflow through the machine, but it can also lead to short circuits in electrical wiring and more frequent breakdowns due to corrosion of internal parts over time.

  • Regularly check the condition of your condenser coil and evaporator coil. They should be cleaned periodically, and if there are any signs of corrosion or other damage, they should be repaired or replaced immediately.
  • Use dehumidifiers in humid areas such as basements and bathrooms. This will prevent moisture from building up inside your AC unit, which can lead to rust developing on metal parts.
  • Keep your home well-ventilated, and make sure that there are no leaks anywhere in the ductwork. Also, ensure that there are no gaps around doors or windows that allow unfiltered air into the system.
  • Cover your HVAC system with a protective cover when not in use or while you're away from home during the winter months. This will help keep rain and snow off your unit and dirt out of it.
  • If you notice any signs of corrosion developing on any part of your HVAC system, contact a professional immediately so they can repair or replace it before any further damage occurs.

Keeping your HVAC system well-maintained with periodic professional cleanings and maintenance will help to ensure that it continues to function well, thereby preventing unsightly rust buildup in your Northern California home and/or business.

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