Lack of maintenance causes rusty ductwork

Last winter we noticed rust stains forming in our bathroom ceiling.

We got some rust killing paint and took care of it. However, now the stains are back and they are also in the guest bedroom. I went up in the attic to try and see what is causing the rust and it looks like it is the ductwork to our HVAC system. It is rusty, dirty, and leaky. I know that that is not normal at all. There should not be this much water in our ductwork system. I called the heating and cooling company. They sent a technician out on Wednesday. He wants to replace a good part of our ductwork system. On Wednesday he was able to stop the water leaking into the ductwork. Apparently that was a pretty easy fix. However, the HVAC technician explained that there is no way to get rid of all of that rust without replacing parts of the ductwork. That is going to cost us a bit of money but I think he is right. I keep kicking myself because this could have all been avoided if we had just paid for a regular HVAC tune-up every year. I know you are supposed to have your HVAC system maintained regularly but I thought I could save money by waiting until our HVAC unit actually needed it first. That was a huge mistake. Not only do we need new ductwork but I am going to have to paint the ceiling again too. I hate painting so I am not looking forward to this.

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