What To Do When You Have A Cracked Heat Exchanger

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Proper care and maintenance are always recommended for your home heating system to ensure that it is in tiptop shop. It helps avoid issues such as a cracked heat exchanger. There are a couple of telltale signs to look out for if you suspect that your heating system is experiencing this problem. It is, therefore, vital that you learn about the heat exchanger, its importance, and how to determine if you are dealing with a cracked heat exchanger.

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What Is A Heat Exchanger?

The heat exchanger is responsible for transferring heat between fluids for cooling or heating your home or office. The heat exchanger in your home heater works by heating the air that travels through the ventilation system. It is a process that begins when combustible gas increases the temperature in the heat exchanger. In turn, the air in the house increases as well. Therefore, having a cracked heat exchanger will affect how your heater works.

Signs Your Furnace Has A Cracked Heat Exchanger

Listed below are a few of the signs to look out for is you think your heating system might have a cracked heat exchanger:

A Change In The Furnace Flame’s Color

A properly functioning gas furnace has a consistently blue flame. Check to see if this is the case in your furnace. If the fire appears yellow, this could mean that the burner needs to be cleaned. It is also an indication that the furnace has a cracked heat exchanger. The flame should also be burning steadily as a flickering flame means that there is a problem with your heating equipment.

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Soot is the black, powdery byproduct of carbon buildup. It can be found in the furnace’s interior. The carbon buildup is because the furnace is unable to burn the gas wholly and cleanly. This can be caused by one of two things: an improperly adjusted burner or a cracked heat exchanger.

Your Furnace Produces Strange Odors

One of the most distinct signs of a cracked heat exchanger is the formaldehyde-like smell. This unpleasant odor causes health issues and gives you severe headaches. If you smell a strange odor coming from your heat exchanger, contact a professional HVAC technician immediately.

woman plugging nose from bad furnace odors


Rust And Cracks On Your Heating System

Physical signs in your furnace include corrosion and cracks in its exterior. If your heating system is showing signs of damage in its external components, the internal parts are likely damaged as well.

Health Issues

Furnace carbon monoxide results in health issues. If you are experiencing symptoms like nausea, eye irritation, drowsiness, disorientation, and other problems similar to flu while you are at home, then it can be because your cracked heat exchanger is releasing carbon monoxide. You must call a professional immediately and have your furnace checked.

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Reasons Heat Exchangers Crack

Overheating is one of the most common reasons heat exchangers crack. It is a result of insufficient airflow in your furnace. The heating system accumulates dust, dirt, and other debris as time passes. When it is not maintained, these pollutants will eventually block the filters and clog the coils and blowers. Proper airflow is needed to keep the temperature inside your heating system leveled and to absorb excess heat. But when the airflow is blocked, the internal temperature will increase and will most likely cause the heat exchanger to crack.
Another reason for a cracked heat exchanger is having worn out valves. This issue causes pressure changes that the heat exchanger cannot handle. It is, therefore, vital that you have your heat exchanger regularly maintained so that potential problems are addressed before they get worse.

carbon monoxide


The Problem With A Cracked Heat Exchanger

Issues brought about by a cracked heat exchanger bring inconveniences to you as a homeowner. However, it also poses a serious threat to you and your family’s safety as well. Many heating systems are powered by fuel oil, propane, or natural gas. These fossil fuels, unfortunately, produce fumes, which have soot, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and carbon monoxide. These are released into your home when these fuels are burned, and your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger. You and your family can suffer from serious health issues should this happen.

Solutions For A Cracked Heat Exchanger

Never attempt to do a do-it-yourself inspection and/or repair to a cracked heat exchanger. Your malfunctioning heating system might either need to be fitted with a new heat exchanger or be replaced altogether. Call a professional HVAC technician to conduct an inspection and determine the problem. A professional will be able to provide you with the best solution and guide you on how to care for your heating system.

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A cracked heat exchanger not only damages your heating system. It also poses a serious health risk to your household. Fortunately, this issue is preventable. Proper care and regular tune-ups will ensure that your heating system can provide you with adequate heat for a very long time. If you have any concerns with your equipment, make sure to call your local heating technician so you can have solutions as quickly as possible.

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Call Miller Oil Company For All Of Your Home Heating Needs

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Miller Oil Company provides high-quality heating and cooling services in the area. Rest assured, we have the best NATE-certified technicians who can conduct superior HVAC maintenance, repairs, installations, and replacements. We take pride in having years of knowledge and experience to keep your HVAC system in tiptop shape.

If you require heating system repair or replacement, Miller Oil Company is the company for you. We offer the most competitive HVAC repair and replacement costs in the area. If you need to have your current system replaced, we can provide you with recommendations. We guarantee that we can find you the best one for your needs while staying within your budget. We always make sure that your new system is energy efficient, can provide comfort and high indoor air quality, and more. Give us a call and schedule a free, in-home estimate today.
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