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What is Formicary Corrosion?

It doesn’t sound like a pleasant term – formicary corrosion – and the reality is even worse than the name. It’s an insidious form of corrosion that strikes at the copper tubing in your heating and air conditioning system. It’s particularly prevalent in towns like Hammond, LA, and we’ve seen a sharp increase of late in the number of calls to deal with it. What is formicary corrosion and what can you do to address it? It starts by understanding the exact nature of the condition.

Ants Do More than Ruin Your Picnics

Formicary corrosion is caused by a chemical reaction when organic acid combines with moisture and oxygen. That organic acid comes from ants, who thrive in the warm weather here in Louisiana and who are aided in their efforts to undermine your HVAC system by our omnipresent mugginess and humidity. They don’t need to enter the heating or air conditioning system itself to cause damage. As your system circulates air throughout your house, the ants’ acid passes through in the air. Before you know it, your copper coils are corroding away and your system is in need of a serious repair. In fact, formicary corrosion is responsible for approximately 10% of early failure of copper coils and copper tubing in heating and air conditioning systems.

Stopping Formicary Corrosion

You can curtail the problem of formicary corrosion by getting rid of the ants, but they’re tough and tenacious, and sooner or later they’ll come back. A more effective solution is to install an air purifier in your home, or a whole-house dehumidifier to lower the moisture and prevent the chemical reaction that creates formicary corrosion in the first place. That comes on top of the other benefits to such systems: namely a more comfortable home and less strain on your heating and air conditioning system.

Call A Professional Heating and Air to address the problems caused by formicary corrosion!

 

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