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Warning Signs of a Cracked Heat Exchanger in the Furnace

One of the most comforting noises in your home is the sound of your furnace kicking in on a cold winter day. Other than this background noise your furnace sits out of sight and out of mind in your basement or utility closet. As a result, problems with furnaces often go unnoticed until they have become an emergency or a danger to the household.

What Does a Heat Exchanger Do in Your Furnace?

The job of a heat exchanger is to transfer heat from combustion to the air in your furnace. The gases produced from the combustion process enter the heat exchanger and warm the metal. The metal warms the air around it. The furnace then pushes the air through your home. This keeps you cozy all winter long.

Frequently cleaning or changing your air filter will increase the efficiency and extend the life of your heat exchanger. Restricted airflow, due to a clogged or dirty filter, is a common reason for a heat exchanger to fail. The restricted airflow causes the heat exchanger to overheat because it has nowhere to transfer the heat. Over time the stress of overheating leads to cracks in the heat exchanger.

Signs of a Cracked Heat Exchanger

With regular monitoring, you can notice a cracked heat exchanger before it becomes an emergency problem.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors Are Triggered

A damaged heat exchanger may result in dangerous carbon monoxide leaking into your home. Carbon monoxide is an odorless toxic gas. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, and symptoms similar to the flu. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur in a matter of 1 to 2 hours.

If your carbon monoxide detectors are being triggered call for a technician to inspect your furnace. Gibson Heating & Cooling provides furnace repair in Bensalem, PA for heat exchanger problems.

Strange Smells

A cracked heat exchanger creates strange smells. It may smell like chemicals or something similar to formaldehyde.

Soot Build-Up

Most people think soot looks black. A cracked heat exchanger may produce white soot build-up. This is a sign of incomplete combustion happening in your furnace.

Corrosion or Visible Damage

A regular visual inspection of your furnace may help you see cracks in your heat exchanger. A regular visual inspection will also enable you to see corrosion starting to develop in your furnace.

Unusual Sounds

Metal expands and contracts with changes in temperature. Your heat exchanger is made of metal. If it is cracked the expanding and contracting sounds will be noticeably different than the usually comforting sounds your furnace makes when the heat comes on. A cracked heat exchanger is likely to make louder rattling sounds.

Heat exchangers will degrade through years of normal wear and tear. It is important to watch for signs that your heat exchanger is coming to the end of its life. A damaged heat exchanger can pose a serious safety hazard to those living in your home. Call a professional technician if problems arise.

Make the Wise Choice, choose the home of the lifetime repair guarantee! Call Gibson Heating & Cooling to check on your furnace to see if it needs repairs or a replacement.

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