Cracked Heat Exchanger: The Three Things You Should Know
Having a cracked heat exchanger is no laughing matter. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t know exactly what this entails. If you want to take care of the furnace in your greater Los Angeles area home, it is important that you are aware of three things:
Know how a cracked heat exchanger occurs
Your furnace’s heat exchanger is basically a slab of metal that protects the air stream leaving your furnace from the fire that it produces. This metal is exposed to intense heat, often for extended periods of time. This constant exposure wears down the heat exchanger and can cause hairline fractures and holes to appear in the metal.
Realize the difference between superficial and significant cracks
Not all cracks will mean the end of your furnace. It is a good idea to have an HVAC professional take a look at your furnace and search for any cracks. If the damage is superficial, there may be no need to replace either the heat exchanger or entire unit. If the damage is significant, however, the furnace will be deemed dangerous to operate as combustion materials can leak through the cracks and cause a health hazard for your family, sometimes leading to considerable respiratory issues or even carbon monoxide poisoning.
Understand the possibility of your furnace being red-tagged
The HVAC technician will evaluate your furnace for any possible damage. If he finds that you have a cracked heat exchanger that is significant enough, your furnace will be “red-tagged.” This means that you will not be allowed to operate your furnace until either repair or replacement has been done. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may be able to replace the heat exchanger itself, which can be a costly fix. Despite the higher cost of a full furnace replacement, this may be the better option in the long run.
For more expert advice about how to deal with a cracked heat exchanger, or for questions relating to home comfort, please contact the friendly professionals at Air-Tro, Inc.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Pasadena, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, visit our website.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock