There are times when a gas furnace’s heat exchanger will crack. When a heat exchanger cracks this can become a life threatening problem. When a heat exchanger cracks it can release gases such as carbon monoxide which can eventually kill household pets and family members if it’s not repaired. Therefore, it is most important to know if your furnace’s heat exchanger is cracked and leaking gases. Air supply Heating & Air Conditioning will share what to look for in a cracked heat exchanger.
Heat Exchanger Applications
Gas furnaces use a heat exchanger which is the component that actually heats up the air. The heat exchanger is made of tubes and coils that are looped together. The inside of the tubes and coils is where the cold air is being heated. The heat exchanger’s design or shape varies. To properly identify your home’s furnace and heat exchanger make sure you know your model and look up the manufactures diagram to properly identify your heat exchanger. If there is a possibility that the heat exchanger has developed a leak or crack it is essential that the crack is repaired or the damaged heat exchanger is replaced. Within the tubes or chambers of the heat exchanger gas is used to heat up the air. If the gases don’t burn off safely inside the heat exchanger different gases such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, or nitrous oxides can leak out which can cause illness and even death.
How to Tell if a Heat Exchanger is Cracked
A cracked heat exchanger will show certain signs or can be detected by those who know what to look for. Following are some of the common signs or symptoms of a cracked heat exchanger.
Soot: When inspecting your furnace, look at the heat exchanger. If you see black soot or burn marks inside, this is black carbon buildup which indicates the furnace isn’t burning cleanly. This could be due to the burner being out of adjustment and requires recalibration or the heat exchanger has a crack.
Corrosion: When external components of the furnace begins to show signs of wear, there is a good chance that internal components also may have begun wearing down. Heat exchangers will crack overt time since many internal components will expand and contract. Corrosion is a common sign that an area has developed a crack due to the stress of expanding and contracting. Rusty and burnt looking areas are often the location of the crack.
Gas Like Smell: Another sign that your heat exchanger may have a crack is strong odors. This odor may smell similar to formaldehyde and may even cause headaches, nausea and other physical symptoms. A formaldehyde or gas like odor isn’t good and if you are smelling such an odor, open all of the windows and contact an HVC technician. State that it could be an emergency situation and request immediate assistance. Turn off your home heater and don’t turn it back on until your heat exchanger is examined.
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If your heater may have a crack in the heat exchanger, don’t neglect the issue. It can be life threatening and requires immediate repair or full replacement of the heat exchanger. For all of your HVAC systems needs, contact Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning today.