Small brown flakes come out from the air vent


Hi everyone,
I've got some problems with my AC/Heating unit and I would like to seek your expertise for comments on the problems I have.
My house was built in April 1997 by Centex in Houston, Texas. The AC/Heating Unit is the Lennox.
The problem is when I use the heater, once in a while, there are tiny brown particles or flakes like come out from the air vent. This happened since last November 2003. The problem does not happen all the time when I use the heater, but only once in a while. Also I noticed that the tiny brown stuffs come out especially for example, when I use the air conditioner in the day time and at night time I use the heater, that is when the problem occurs during the heating, not the AC operation. I did not notice tiny brown stuffs come out during the AC (not 100% sure), but I did notice it come out during the heating. Or when in the last winter during the day time no one is at home, we turn off the heater, the whole house get really cold, then when we come back home from work, we turn on the heater, that is when tiny brown stuffs come out from the vent. After I use the heater for a while, the problems seem to be lessening. It seems like when the AC/Heating unit in the attic is very cold, then the first time when you turn on the Heater, a few tiny brown stuffs come out, after it is use for a while the problem lessen.
I'm not sure if those tiny brown stuffs come out from all of the vents in the house, but I only noticed this problem in one of my room because I have two large white computer monitors sitting directly beneath the air vent, therefore it is very easy to notice those brown stuffs.
Last December I found a large dead cork roach inside my air return duct. I took it out and vacuum behind the air return duct, but still that has not solved the problem. May be something is still stuck in my AC/Heating unit???
I called the AC/Heating company to come over and take a look at my unit today and here is what they say. Can you give me comments on how truthful on what they told me?
After about 15 minutes inspecting my AC/Heating unit up in my attic, the repair person came down and told me:
- I have a rusted Evaporator coil and it is normal for the evaporator coil to rust after 2-4 years. Most houses have rusted evaporator coil and that most houses have those brown rusted stuffs blowing out of the vent. The reason many people don't notice the problem because those brown stuffs are tiny and their house are dusty and it is mixed with the dust and dirt.
- I asked if it breathing those rust is a health hazardous (like giving you cancer) in anyway. He says it's probably not.
- The repairperson says that because of the shape and design of my plenum, it makes the rusty stuffs to be easily blown into my air duct.
- He say that what I'm experiencing with the rust stuffs is normal and I don't need to replace anything, and accept the fact that there are actually tiny rust stuffs blowing out of my vent once in a while.
- I asked him what does it take to stop the rust blowing of my vent, he told me that I have to replace the Evaporator coil, the old small plenum with the new improved and larger design plenum (which also include the galvanized emergency drip pan, new transitions, and flood switch) all parts and labor cost $1400.00 including tax. Is this a reasonable price ???? The new evaporator coil design is the horizontal slab, this would also help the rust from blowing out to the air duct.
- The repair person also recommend Amana brand for the evaporator coil and plenum because he say it is the best quality brand
Would you please give me comments and advise on the problems I have with my AC/Heating unit and how truthful of what the repairperson told me. Is it normal for some of the house to actually have tiny rust stuffs blowing out from the air vent?
Thank you very much in advance.
Jack
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Im no pro , but i didn't know those coils could rust as I think they are Aluminum. Steel rusts not copper or aluminum. Id guess your ducts have some rust occurring from condensation in your ducts due to your system being improperly designed ,or instaled or not being maintained. So that guy is a liar, get some other pros out till you are shown the problem and are sure of the fix. Which could be a simple tune up .
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Is the unit gas heat? If so your exchanger may be cracked. Check the Lennox site for recalls. Goettle here in Phoenix had a re-call on all their gas exchangers ~3 years ago.
If you have gas heat, the ac evaporator coil is first then the heat exchanger. If the coil is rusting it would be new to me. Evap coils are made from Aluminum. If the exchanger is rusted then there are other problems. Because of the positioning the exchanger should not be getting water on it to cause it to rust. The exchanger is made from cast steel so it would be possible for it to rust. But there should never be any way for water to get to it.
Call an new service company. Check the BBB and your friends. This guy is not telling you all that is going on or is green in the service business.
My thoughts only
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