Help! My Heat Exchanger is Cracked!

What is a heat exchanger anyway?

A heat exchanger is the part of your system that allows heat to be exchanged between two fluids without them mixing, hence the name “heat exchanger.” In the case of gas furnaces, air is blown past hot tubes or coils full of hot exhaust created by burning gas, this heats the air up before sending it into your home.

heat exchanger diagram
Okay, so what?

Well, if your heat exchanger is cracked or damaged the hot exhaust can mix with the air being sent into your home which doesn’t sound so bad, but one of the chemicals in this exhaust is Carbon Monoxide which can be extremely harmful to you and your family.

How can I keep my family safe!?

There are a few ways to keep you and your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.

First, it is very important make sure to have the proper amount of carbon monoxide detectors in your home. If you aren’t sure how many carbon monoxide detectors your home should have or you don’t know where to put them, or just generally want to know more about carbon monoxide, check out this link or give us a call.

Another way is to make sure you have your furnace inspected annually or at least biannually, there are plenty of sources out there on how to inspect your furnace yourself, but HVAC Technicians are usually a bit more thorough and tend to know what they are looking for.

Here are some examples of cracked heat exchangers.

If your heat exchanger looks like this call an HVAC company right away!

In conclusion

There is nothing wrong with having a gas furnace, in fact they can be very efficient. However if they are not cared for properly, they can be one of the most dangerous parts of your heating and cooling system. But no worries, if you do your part by installing carbon monoxide detectors and having your furnace inspected regularly you can keep yourself and your family safe from harm.

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