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Furnaces 101: The Dangers of a Cracked Heat Exchanger

Most people don’t know too much about the exact components that make their furnaces run—and that’s understandable. Only a trained, experienced technician should be allowed to work on a heating system anyway, so there isn’t much that the average homeowner needs to know.

Still, knowing a bit more about the components of your heating system can help you protect your home and keep your heater running smoothly. Here, we’ve compiled some information about one of the most dangerous problems that can come up within a furnace, a cracked heat exchanger, so that you understand the importance of regular inspections and keeping your home safe.

What Is the Heat Exchanger?

The heat exchanger is a component in gas furnaces that heats up so that air from your home is heated as it moves past the outside of it. Combustion takes place within the heat exchanger, which is essentially a tube made of aluminum or steel.

During combustion, fuel ignites to create a flame, but dangerous byproducts like CO (carbon monoxide) also result. These byproducts should vent through the heat exchanger to a flue pipe leading to the outside of your home.

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide could leak from a heat exchanger if it cracks. Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas. It is odorless and colorless, and you cannot detect it with the senses, unless you start to notice family members becoming ill. That’s why it’s so important to have a carbon monoxide detector near every room where a family member sleeps.

How Does It Become Damaged?

It could be surprisingly easy for a heat exchanger to become damaged if someone without the proper training and tools attempts to service a furnace. It can also happen with time. You must have trained, experienced, qualified technicians inspect and tune your furnace every year to prevent this issue and keep your family safe.

Call Air Services Unlimited for heating services and inspections in Orange, TX. We appreciate this opportunity to earn your business!

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