Signs Your Furnace Has A Cracked Heat Exchanger

gas burning for heating and furnace pilot light with a cracked heat exchanger

Experts always recommend that your heating system receive proper care and HVAC maintenance to prevent problems, such as a cracked heat exchanger. Fortunately, if your heating system has this type of issue, it will give off several signs. Read on to know what a heat exchanger is, its importance, and how you can determine if it is cracked.

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What Is A Heat Exchanger?

The heat exchanger transfers the heat between fluids to cool or heat a home or office. The heat exchanger in a home heater heats the air passing through the ventilation system. Combustible gas gets hotter and accumulates in the heat exchanger, letting it increase the air’s temperature. Cracked heat exchanger problems will impact your heating system’s operation.

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Symptoms That Point To A Cracked Heat Exchanger

Here are several signs that mean you have a cracked heat exchanger:

Change In The Furnace Flame’s Appearance

gas furnace flames

The flame of a gas furnace is normally blue in color. This signifies a perfectly working heating system. If you notice that the flame is yellow, it may be because the burner needs to be cleaned or, worse, it may have a cracked heat exchanger. Heating systems also typically produce a steadily-burning flame. If you see that it flickers, it is likely an issue with the unit.

Furnace Soot

Carbon buildup on the furnace interior causes soot. This happens as the gas doesn’t burn cleanly and thoroughly due to an improperly adjusted burner or a cracked heat exchanger.

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Corrosion And Cracks On The Components

Check the heater’s external components for any cracks and furnace rust. If the external components have any physical issues, the internal parts are also likely damaged.

Strange Furnace Odors

woman plugging nose due to smelly furnace

A cracked heat exchanger causes the heating system to generate a strange, unpleasant smell like formaldehyde. It can lead to adverse health effects like severe headaches. Call a professional to check it right away when you notice a strange odor coming from your system.

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Health Issues

Carbon monoxide from the furnace can lead to frequent health symptoms like eye and nose irritations, nausea, disorientation, sleepiness, and other flu-like symptoms. You only typically experience these symptoms when you are home.


Why Do Heat Exchangers Crack?

Overheating is one of the common reasons for a cracked heat exchanger. This occurs from insufficient airflow, which usually happens because of lack of maintenance. The air filters of the system capture dust, dirt, and other pollutants, and they can become blocked as time passes. The accumulation of pollutants also causes the blowers and coils to clog. All these can block the airflow. Air is needed for temperature maintenance in the system and excess heat absorption. It is highly likely that the heat exchanger will crack when there are increased internal temperatures.

Worn-out control valves can also cause the heat exchanger to crack. When this happens, the pressure level changes to the extent that the heat exchanger cannot handle it. Therefore, inspecting your heating system regularly is crucial to help spot potential issues.

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The Problem With A Cracked Heat Exchanger

It isn’t just inconvenient to homeowners when there are signs of a cracked heat exchanger. They can pose a threat to your home and personal safety. Many homeowners power their heating systems with fuel oil, propane, or natural gas. These are different kinds of fossil fuels that produce fumes when burned. These fumes have carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, soot, and water vapor. Increased levels of these toxic gasses can lead to you and your family experiencing severe health problems.


Solutions For A Cracked Heat Exchanger

Never conduct a do-it-yourself check or repair to your cracked heat exchanger. If this is the problem with your system, the solution is either to replace the component or to get a system replacement. Both solutions need serious consideration. Hire a professional HVAC technician to check and test your heating system to find the root cause of the issue. This way, they can provide you with a recommendation on what needs to be done. An expert will also guide you on how you can better care for your heating system.

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A cracked heat exchanger leads to severe damage to your heating system. It can also negatively impact your household’s health. Fortunately, it can be prevented as long as the heat exchanger receives good care and regular maintenance. This way, the heat exchanger will remain operational and provide your home with good service for a long time. Do not hesitate to contact your local, trusted HVAC technician to consult preventative steps and solutions. Your heating system will serve you longer the better you care for it.

Call R.F. Ohl For For All Of Your Home Heating Needs

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R.F. Ohl offers one of the best heating and cooling services in the area. Our HVAC technicians are highly skilled and professionally certified. They can conduct excellent HVAC installations, repairs, replacements, and maintenance. All our techs have the experience and knowledge to service your HVAC systems accurately.

When you need a heating system repair or replacement, call R.F. Ohl. You are in good hands with our company as we have the most affordable furnace repair and replacement prices in the area. We can recommend the best replacement system within your budget. As we always do, your comfort, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality are our priority. Book an appointment with R.F. Ohl today. Call us for a free, in-home estimate.

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