The heat exchanger is the critical furnace component where hazardous combustion fumes are separated from the warmed air that gets circulated through a home. During normal use, a heat exchanger expands and contracts repeatedly as it heats up and cools down. Over time, this can lead to metal fatigue that results in cracks and separations. If you see any of the following four signs that the heat exchanger is cracked or damaged, contact a reputable HVAC contractor to repair it before dangerous combustion gases degrade the air quality.
- Changes in the flame. As a furnace ages, there’s a greater likelihood that issues will develop with the heat exchanger. Periodically checking the flame at the burner can help you identify potential problems before they escalate. If the heat exchanger is intact and operating properly, you should see a steady blue flame. If the flame appears to jump and dance, or has an orange or yellow color, there may be cracks or separations in the heat exchanger.
- Evidence of soot buildup. When cracks in the heat exchanger cause incomplete or improper combustion, you’ll see a black sooty residue accumulating on the internal workings of the furnace, or even on the heat exchanger itself.
- The carbon monoxide detector goes off. If you don’t already have carbon monoxide detectors in place, have one installed on each level of the home. Be sure to test each detector’s functionality regularly, and check the batteries. If the alarm sounds, call the local fire department and exit the house immediately. Combustion fumes escaping through a cracked, corroded heat exchanger are often identified as the source of life-threatening carbon monoxide leaks.
- Signs of rust and corrosion on the heating system. Exposure to moisture can cause corrosion that eats away at a furnace. If you see rust developing on the system components, the metal heat exchanger may be corroding as well, so have it inspected to ensure your family’s safety.
If you suspect that the heat exchanger is cracked in the furnace heating your Fayette, Coweta and surrounding counties in Georgia, contact us today at Powers Heating and Air for an expert evaluation.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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