What’s the Danger of a Cracked Heat Exchanger?

What’s the Danger of a Cracked Heat Exchanger?

A cracked heat exchanger can be a common furnace problem that may surprise homeowners during a routine furnace inspection. If your HVAC professional tells you that your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, you must take action. Yet because this problem requires a full replacement of your furnace, you could be tempted to ignore it especially if the furnace is still functioning. However, a cracked heat exchanger can put your family at major risk. Before you decide to ignore the issue, you need to understand this risk and how it could potentially impact you and your family.

What is a Heat Exchanger?

The heat exchanger is the section of the furnace that exchanges the heat between the return air from your home and the hot exhaust coming out from the combustion chamber of the furnace. It’s what heats the air before it returns to your home, keeping your family warm and cozy. Between these two air masses sits a sheet of metal or some metal tubing that allows the exchange of heat but not the exchange of gasses. Thus, the carbon monoxide and other gases stay out of your home’s air.

What Cracks Allow

A cracked heat exchanger harbors a place for dangerous carbon monoxide to leave the furnace and enter your home’s air. Even just a miniscule crack can be large enough to allow gas to escape. While the CO levels might not be high enough to trigger your CO alarm, they can be high enough to cause headaches and other illnesses.

No homeowner would knowingly let CO into their home day in and day out, yet this is what is happening when you continue to run a furnace with a cracked heat exchanger. To ensure that your furnace is running safely and efficiently in your Austin home, contact Airco for a full inspection.


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