Your HVAC service technician tells you, “Your furnace isn’t working properly because you have a cracked heat exchanger.” What does that mean for your home heating or commercial HVAC system? Simply put, it involves the part of your furnace that houses looped coils filled with liquid. These allow the transfer of heat provided by the fuel used, such as gas, oil, electric or propane.
Heat exchangers are constructed of metal and are constantly heating and cooling. This constant fluctuation causes the metal to contract and expand with each change in temperature. Over the course of time, this stress makes them susceptible to cracking. A rupture in the heat exchanger can also be caused by high pressure, high gas, low airflow from dirty clogged filters and vents, and rust from condensation.
A cracked exchanger often goes unnoticed by a homeowner or building maintenance person. This is why it is so important to have a trained technician inspect your equipment on a regular basis. For one thing, they have the tools and series of tests that can be used to discover damages or weaknesses in your system, before it becomes serious!
Dangers of a Cracked Heat Exchanger
No one wants to hear that they have a cracked heat exchanger. It’s not an easy fix, or replacement. In fact, the furnace should be shut down immediately. There is wide controversy linked to the extent of emissions of carbon monoxide leaked by a cracked exchanger. Depending on the model and design of your furnace, there could be a very real threat for CO poisoning, so don’t take chances.
The American Gas Association states:
Any visible crack or hole is reason for requiring replacement of the heat exchanger or furnace.”
How do you Know if a Heat Exchanger is Defective?
One of the first warning signs is a clicking sound coming from the inside of the furnace enclosure. If you detect this, immediately shut off the gas to the furnace and call an expert.
Cracks are sometimes easily visible, while others require special equipment, and a detailed search to pinpoint a fissure.
A true crack will usually disrupt the flame pattern causing it to burn higher and lower along the jets, and release of CO gases can set off a carbon monoxide detector.
But if you are getting a routine furnace check-up and are told you have a cracked heat exchanger, you may ask: “How do I know this is true if I can’t see the crack with my own eyes?” Again, you’ll have warning signs. Ask for a second opinion, or whenever in doubt, insist that once the exchanger is removed, your service technician show you where he found the opening, large or small.
Don’t be a victim of service company fraud. Always have your inspections and HVAC maintenance done by a company you can trust, and check their Better Business Bureau rating. Being in business since 1944, we get referrals from family members who have trusted and relied on us for generations.
Don’t Take Risks with Family and Employee Safety and Health
CO Carbon Monoxide poisoning can cause extreme illness and death. Don’t wait until your furnace and your commercial HVAC system are to the point of developing a cracked heat exchanger from any of the above reasons. Don’t risk going without heat during the harsh winter months. Your business could lose time and money if forced to shut down for even a day to replace a furnace.
Here at ABEL Heating & Cooling we have experienced technicians who have worked with us for years who can inspect your home or commercial HVAC equipment to ensure that your heat exchanger is not in jeopardy. Call us at 952-472-COOL (2665) or Contact Us.