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How Serious Is a Cracked Heat Exchanger in a Furnace?

The heat exchanger is one of the most important components of a furnace. But when it cracks, it can become one of the deadliest.

Luckily, a cracked heat exchanger is a fairly uncommon problem for a furnace that is professionally installed and regularly maintained. But it is something that could happen to you, and you should be prepared in order to avoid a major safety risk.

What Is the Heat Exchanger?

To understand the severity of a cracked heat exchanger, you probably first need to know a little about how the heat exchanger works. It’s an aluminum or steel component in your furnace with a hollow tube, in which combustion takes place.

Gas ignites, and both heat and combustion gases (like carbon monoxide) move inside of the heat exchanger. Those combustion gases have somewhere to go, venting outside through a flue pipe. And heat is transferred to air moving over the heat exchanger.

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide and a Cracked Heat Exchanger

A carbon monoxide leak is a dangerous thing. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous odorless, colorless gas. You might not know it’s in your home, but accidental CO poisoning kills hundreds of people in this country each year.

A crack can develop in a heat exchanger due to problems with installation or manufacturing or with corrosion over time. In any case, it’s something you want to know about.

Our Advice to Anyone with a Gas Furnace

If you have a gas furnace (or any heating system) schedule annual maintenance to keep problems like these at bay. A crack in the heat exchanger may turn up during an inspection. While you’ll need to replace the whole furnace, it’s worth it.

In addition, make sure there are carbon monoxide detectors all throughout your home. Test them each month by holding down the button in the front and listening for the alarm.

Don’t hesitate, call Air Services Unlimited today for exceptional customer service in Lumberton, TX. We appreciate this opportunity to earn your business!

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