08 May Furnace Have a Cracked Heat Exchanger? The Risks are Real
As trusted southeast Michigan heating professionals, one of the most difficult problems we have to address with a homeowner is when a furnace has a cracked heat exchanger. It may seem like no big deal, but it is in fact a very big deal. Because repairing a heat exchanger is impossible, it usually makes better sense to simply replace the heat exchanger or the entire system.
The fact is you may not even be aware that you have cracks or holes in your heat exchanger unless your heating system is maintained on a regular basis. When will you know it? Either when your system fails, or worse – there is the potential for carbon monoxide to begin building in your home.
Here’s some information Ann Arbor, Dexter, and other residents of SE Michigan will be interested to learn about heat exchangers:
Your furnace heat exchanger essentially helps separate flames and hot gases from the forced air that passes over it, thereby preventing a possible fire or spread of gases. Once the combustion gasses are produced by the burners in a gas furnace, the heat exchanger is the first place these gasses go. It is a chamber of sorts, made up of a series of ribbons or tubes inside your furnace. Once the gases are routed into the heat exchanger, they eventually exit through the exhaust system or flue.
Ultimately, the heat exchanger heats up because of the hot gases that pass through it; once the blower is turned on, the forced air which passes over it is warmed before coming into your home.
The Real Risk of a Damaged or Cracked Heat Exchanger
Propane and natural gas do burn very clean, however carbon monoxide or CO may be produced in small amounts during the combustion process. As you are aware, CO has no taste, color, or odor which is why it is often referred to as the “deadly killer.” This is why it is essential that homeowners who heat with fuel have a carbon monoxide detector in their homes!
The small amount of CO produced during the combustion process is harmless, but when your heat exchanger is cracked or has holes or areas that are rusted out, carbon monoxide can actually be spread through your home when the air passes over your heat exchanger. This is why it’s important to have your heating system inspected on an annual basis, so that cracks, holes or other issues which may put your family at risk can be detected early on.
Call Haley Mechanical today if you suspect you may have a cracked heat exchanger, or it’s time to have your heating system inspected. We want to keep southeast Michigan homeowners warm and comfortable – and safe!