Rusty Furnace Blower
Sunday, 13 September, 2015 | Perrysburg, OH

Rusty Furnace Blower

Making photographic lemonade out of homeowner lemons

by J. Matt Buchanan

Last week, we learned that our furnace — which is only five years old — died. Naturally, this happened right as summer was delivering a last gasp in our neck of the woods, leaving us with no air conditioning. And to make matters worse, the furnace had just gone off warranty.

Ugh.

Turns out, our condenser wasn't draining very well and was, in fact, dripping water through the burner and into the blower compartment. The blower continued doing its job, regularly flinging water everywhere inside the unit. The result — rust in every nook and cranny of the blower and burner, and likely everywhere else (we'll know once we pull the full unit out). Staring at the rusty blower, our HVAC repairman said it was one of the worst he had ever seen, especially when you consider its age.

So we had a choice — repair or replace. The cost of repairing the old unit puts us well along the path of replacing it. And, after a bit of research, I'm of the opinion that the Carrier high efficiency models (ours is the Carrier Infinity 96 Ultra Efficient gas furnace) are poorly designed and don't handle condensate drainage very well.

So, needless to say, we were staring at a big bowl of lemons over the weekend as we decided between an expensive repair of a lousy furnace and a more expensive purchase of a new unit, which, definitely won't be a Carrier.

Luckily I found a way to make a little bit of lemonade from the situation. The rust on the blower was actually quite amazing. The colors and interesting structure of the unit made for some neat photos.

At least there's that.

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J. Matt Buchanan
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