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Does Your Furnace Have a Cracked Heat Exchanger?

gas-burnerDo you have a gas-powered furnace in your home? If so, you likely are able to rely on it on even the coldest of days to keep you warm. This system is known for being reliable and powerful. Over time though, regular wear and tear is going to take its toll on your furnace and create problems. One of the worst problems that your gas furnace can develop as it ages is a cracked heat exchanger.

If something goes awry with your heater, you’ll want to reach out to an expert for furnace service in Birmingham, AL. Specifically, you need repairs! But how quickly do you need repairs? And how severe of an issue is a cracked heat exchanger? We’ll get into more details about this repair issue below.

The Role of the Heat Exchanger

Your gas furnace works by burning natural gas. The combustion gases that are created from this flow into the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is a large enclosed metal part, usually clam-shaped, that is heated up by those combustion gas. Air is blown over the heat exchanger allowing it to be warmed up and then blown into your house to warm you up. Without a heat exchanger, your furnace wouldn’t be heating much of anything.

Why a Crack In a Heat Exchanger Is a Big Problem

Age and chemical reactions from those combustion gases in your system will take their toll on this part of your system. As the metal expands and contracts through repeated use, it can weaken it and allow microscopic cracks to form. You won’t be able to notice any issue in the very beginning. As the cracks worsen though, you’ll start to notice problems…big problems

Cracks in the heat exchanger allow combustion gas to escape from this vital component. This means that it will be hard to heat up the home. It also means that harmful gas is making its way into the airflow that is blown into your home and that can put your wellbeing in danger.

What to Do When You Smell Gas

One of the most apparent signs that there may be a crack in your heat exchanger is the smell of gas. Smelling gas while running your furnace can be downright dangerous. Make sure to follow these steps to keep yourself safe before calling a professional for repairs.

  1. Shut the heater off to stop any more gas from entering the home.
  2. Open the doors and windows or clear out any gas that is in your home.
  3. If anyone feels ill, leave the home to get fresh air.
  4. Make sure to call emergency services to have the home checked for safety before reentering.
  5. Once the home is clear, go back inside but leave the heater OFF until a professional can repair it.

Cracked heat exchangers are a repair that can end up putting more than just your comfort at risk. You can prevent them in many cases with regular maintenance. If you have a cracked heat exchanger though, a professional can repair it promptly.

Schedule your heating system repairs with Douglas Cooling & HeatingYour experience is what matters most!

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