Has your furnace suddenly stopped working? Even worse, is the carbon monoxide detector in your home going off? These two signs – among others – can indicate that you may have a cracked heat exchanger in your furnace that requires immediate attention. Unfortunately, if you do have a cracked heat exchanger, the unit is not safe to operate. We highly recommend having one of our professional HVAC technicians come out for a consultation, so they can take a look to determine what’s going on. But why is the heat exchanger so important?
What is a heat exchanger?
A heat exchanger is the most essential component of your furnace, as it is the primary equipment that heats the air in your home. It does this with coils that absorb heat, while the air from your blower motor flows past those coils, heating the air going through your HVAC system and then into your home.
But you may be wondering – what causes the heat exchanger to crack?
- Your HVAC unit is incorrectly sized to your home. If you have the wrong size unit for your home, all the major components will overwork themselves to properly heat or cool the home.
- Covering vents and blocked airflow due to a dirty filter can cause a cracked heat exchanger to due to the pressure in your system building up and overheating.
- Years of use and normal wear and tear can cause a heat exchanger to crack on an old furnace
If your heat exchanger does have a crack
If your heat exchanger is damaged or has any cracks, at a minimum, the system must be replaced. There is also the potential of carbon monoxide and other hazardous gases leaking into your home. If you have been exposed to these gases over time you may become dizzy or start to have flu-like symptoms. While it is possible that the leakage may be minimal, if it’s confirmed that you have a cracked heat exchanger, we recommend turning off the system until it is replaced.
I thought that carbon monoxide leakage from cracked heat exchangers was a myth?
There’s an awful lot of discussion around this topic on the Internet! Our professional technicians – many of which have decades of experience – confirm that cracked heat exchangers hold the potential for this. The fact is, a unit with a cracked heat exchanger might leak hazardous gases into your home, especially if left on in its broken state, over time. We prefer to be as safe as possible, and we don’t take any chances with cracked heat exchangers or our customers’ safety.
My heat exchanger needs to be replaced, what can I do?
Whatever the reason may be, unfortunately the heat exchanger generally cannot be fixed – or it is cost-prohibitive to repair or replace it – meaning the best route is usually a furnace replacement. Our technicians can come out and diagnose the unit to see if this is the problem. We offer 24/7 emergency services for all of your HVAC needs. If we do confirm its the heat exchanger, we can offer you free new system estimates that will best suit your needs. You can call us at 224-419-5324!