How To Know if Your Heat Exchanger is Cracked

A heat exchanger in a furnace is made up of metal sheets or coils. It is designed to efficiently heat the air before it is distributed throughout your home. In order to heat the air, the metal sheets or coils of the heat exchanger are heated up by the burners contained inside. The blower then blows air over the heat exchanger which heats the air up as it travels out to warm your home.

Heat exchangers are also designed to be fully contained so that combustion gases within do not mix the air going into your home. This is why it can be very dangerous to have a cracked heat exchanger. If your heat exchanger is cracked it could leak harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide, into your home. If you have a cracked heat exchanger, it needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

How To Know if Your Heat Exchanger is Cracked:

  • A buildup of soot on the sides of the heat exchanger
  • A strong, unpleasant smell similar to the smell of formaldehyde
  • The burner flames should look steady and blue. If they look more yellow and aren’t steady this could indicate a cracked heat exchanger
  • If you notice physical symptoms like headaches, nausea, eye irritation, or flu-like symptoms that disappear when you leave your house, these could be caused by gases leaking from your heat exchanger
  • If the exterior of your furnace looks corroded, cracked, or overly worn

In general you should have your furnace inspected once a year to make sure it is operating correctly and safely. However, If you notice any of these signs, you could have a cracked heat exchanger, and you should schedule a furnace inspection with professional service technician to make sure you are not in any danger from carbon monoxide or other dangerous gases.

What to do if you have a cracked heat exchanger

If you have a cracked heat exchanger, you can’t afford to let it go unaddressed because it can be very dangerous to you and others living in your house. If a service technician determines your heat exchanger is cracked they will recommend you replace it as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, heat exchangers are expensive. They are also a sign that your furnace itself may be nearing the end of its lifespan, which is why you are sometimes better off replacing your entire furnace. We understand that this may not be the news most people want to hear after a furnace inspection, however you can’t continue to live in a home at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Other companies may offer a lower price to fix your furnace temporarily, but at Flame we make sure to check for things like this to avoid issues that could be hazardous, and even fatal, to you and your family.

If you are in need of a furnace inspection call Flame Heating and Cooling at 586-582-1700 to schedule an appointment.

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