What Causes a Cracked Heat Exchanger? Should I be Worried About my Family’s Safety?

The heat exchanger is an important and potentially dangerous component to your heating system. The heat exchanger is a set of coils inside the furnace that is responsible for heating the air in your home. These coils are contained within an airtight combustion chamber. The burner ignites the gas that enters the heat exchanger. As the heat exchanger warms, the blower or fan motor forces air across it. The warm air is then circulated throughout your home for heat. This process produces exhaust gases which are expelled outside the home through your furnace flue.

The heat exchanger is vital to heating your home all winter. Unfortunately, heat exchangers can crack and leak, which poses a threat to your family’s safety. When a heat exchanger cracks it can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home. Carbon monoxide, also known as the silent killer, is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that can be potentially life-threatening.
What can you do to keep your family safe? First, always have carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Make sure you have at least one on every floor of your home. Now, let’s look at understanding what causes a cracked heat exchanger and how you can prevent it.

Poor Air Flow in Indian Trail

The number one culprit for poor airflow is a clogged air filter. When filters are clogged with dust and debris, it impedes return airflow back to the furnace. If the return airflow is significantly reduced, the heat exchanger can become overheated and crack. Make sure to change your air filters regularly.

Undersized Return Air Flow in Monroe

When the return vents in your home are undersized, then your furnace does not receive the proper return air flow. Air needs to be evenly distributed throughout your home for your heating system to work efficiently. When there is too little return airflow, the heat exchanger may overheat and crack. Have your certified HVAC technician from Air Agents Heating & Cooling check your return to ensure it is sized properly.

Oversized Furnaces That Short Cycles

Another reason for a cracked heat exchanger may be that your furnace is too large for your home. When you have an oversized furnace, it will frequently cycle on and off again, causing your heat exchanger to expand and contract too frequently. Eventually, this can lead to a cracked heat exchanger. The experts at Air Agents are highly trained to determine the appropriate size furnace for your home. If it’s determined your home has an oversized furnace, it would be wise to replace your furnace rather than wait for a problem to arise.

Age of system

Normal use of your furnace causes wear and tear. The heat exchanger expands and contracts during the normal heating process. Years of expansion and contraction may lead to cracking. Your certified HVAC technician at Air Agents can help you to determine the best solution for your home.

No Maintenance will shorten the life

While heat exchangers will crack due to old age, a properly maintained furnace should last you approximately fifteen years. Proper care and regular maintenance from Air Agents will maximize the life of your heat exchanger. If you have more questions, please contact us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *