So you get the news that you might have a cracked heat exchanger. If you’re one of the many homeowners who isn’t quite sure what that means, or even what your heat exchanger is, we can help you to decipher the technical-talk and get to the bottom of your home's issue.
Over time, furnaces develop problems, and one of the main culprits is a cracked heat exchanger. Since this is such a common furnace issue, we’ve got some facts that might give you some perspective, or shed a little light on all things Heat Exchanger!
What IS Your Heat Exchanger?
As a part of your home’s furnace, it is a series of tubes and coils that loop through the air flow inside the furnace. Simply put, the heat exchanger is the tool that actually heats the air. Once the furnace turns on, its burners send hot combustion gasses to the heat exchanger. Once there, the heat exchanger transfers the gasses to the metal walls of the exchanger, causing them to heat up! Once the walls of the heat exchanger are hot, warm air is distributed through the ductwork and into your home, leaving cooled combustion gases to be vented outdoors.
So What Causes A Crack In Your Heat Exchanger?
Because your heat exchanger is under extreme heat from flame and combustion, there are several areas that tend to wear down throughout the chamber—this causes a crack over time. The cracks are caused because the chamber overheats…which is most commonly the result of:
- Dirty air filters: when dirt and debris build up on your air filter, they block the airflow to your furnace. This limits the amount of air blowing over your heat exchanger, which will cause it to overheat. If this happens too often, it can cause cracks to develop in your heat exchanger.
- Closed or blocked vents: If the vents sending or pulling air from your home are closed or covered by furniture or other items, it will create an airflow issue, causing the exchanger to overheat.
- Poor quality installation: If your furnace was installed or repaired by a less than reputable contractor, they may have installed a poor quality system, or simply performed shoddy work, making your heat exchanger more likely to crack.
The Danger Of A Heat Exchanger Crack
So what’s the real danger in a cracked heat exchanger? The material being heated by your heat exchanger is meant to stay inside that area. If the exchanger is cracked, all sorts of harmful gasses are being leaked into your home—this includes carbon monoxide, which is deadly.
Preventing Cracked Heat Exchangers
Finally, how can you prevent cracked heat exchangers? We’ve got four foolproof tips to help you avoid disaster!
- Get your heating system inspected
- Keep vents open and clear of obstructions
- Consistently change your air filter
- Work with a home service company you trust
At F.H. Furr, we know that your family and their safety is your number one priority! We take that into consideration and put emphasis on safety in our maintenance inspections. Identifying a cracked heat exchanger is something we do daily, so when you get a heating inspection from F.H. Furr, nothing slips through the cracks….pun intended!