The Basics Of Furnace Heat Exchanger Damage And Repair

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With the end of winter rapidly approaching, many homeowners are planning an end-of-season maintenance and inspection appointment for their furnace and home heating system. If your HVAC technician has told you that the heat exchanger in your furnace is cracked, you might wonder if it's really a cause for concern or not. Here's a look at what you need to know about cracked heat exchangers and furnace repair.

What Does The Heat Exchanger Do?

The heat exchanger in your furnace serves an important role. When your furnace runs, it uses a combination of a flame and a power supply to create the heated air. The heat exchanger separates the heated air and the by-products of the heating process to keep those by-products from being released back into your home.

Why Does The Heat Exchanger Matter?

You might think that you don't really need to worry about a cracked heat exchanger because your furnace seems to be running fine even with the damage. While it's true that your furnace can continue to run and produce heat with a crack in the heat exchanger, it still needs to be repaired right away.

Since the by-products of the heating process can produce dangerous chemicals, including carbon monoxide, the heat exchanger's role is crucial to your family's safety and well-being. When that heat exchanger is cracked, it cannot keep all of those chemicals out of the air that passes into your home. Some of those chemicals will seep beyond that crack and end up distributed throughout your ductwork.

How Does A Heat Exchanger Crack?

There are many reasons why a heat exchanger might crack. Simple aging can cause the exchanger to deteriorate, weaken, and crack. Additionally, poor HVAC maintenance, including failure to change your air filters, can cause cracks. 

When the furnace has to work harder to produce heat, as it does with a clogged air filter, it can stress the heat exchanger and cause damage. Similarly, if your furnace is too small for your home, the stress on the unit when it tries to maintain your home's temperature can also cause the heat exchanger to crack.

What Can You Do About A Cracked Heat Exchanger?

Your HVAC repair technician will need to address a cracked heat exchanger. In some instances, the crack may be able to be patched, but in most cases, the resulting structural weakness means that you'll need to have the exchanger replaced entirely.

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11 March 2020

Streamline Your HVAC System

As a DIY enthusiast, I started doing everything I could to make my household appliances more effective then ever before. I insulated my attic, worked on cleaning the vents around my kitchen appliances, and eventually turned my attention to my air conditioner and furnace. Unfortunately, the process of taking care of my HVAC system was more intense than I had originally anticipated. I realized that I needed to read about air conditioners and furnaces before I started tinkering around. I made this blog to showcase all kinds of different articles that talk about HVAC, so that you can become a more informed homeowner.