Cracked heat exchanger
Heat Exchanger Cracks red tagged furnace TSSA warning tag. A furnace’s heat exchanger is the part of the furnace that heats the air, before it moves it through your ductwork and supply registers.
A gas furnace heat exchanger serves two purposes one is exchanging heat from the combustion process to the air blown over it and keeping toxic combustion gases separate from the heated air being brought into the home or business. Heat exchanger gases are poisonous, the heat exchanger is attached to a furnace flue that vents the harmful gas to outside your home. A cracked or damaged furnace heat exchanger is dangerous occupents. It can leak dangerous gasses into the home, including carbon monoxide.
What is the Cause of Heat Exchanger Cracks?
One of the factors leading to a crack is the age of the furnace itself. Over a long period of time the contracting and expanding can damage the metal and cause a crack to develop. A furnace usually only lasts about 10 to 22 years. Cracks can also be caused by improper maintenance. When a furnace does not get enough proper airflow or has a dirty air filter, the heat exchanger can overheat and suffer from excess expansion and contraction. Over time, this can result in cracks in the weaker spots in a heat exchanger. An oversized furnace with undersized ductwork can lead to improper airflow as well. Another cause for cracks is improper combustion of the gas. This could lead to overheating of the metal and the higher temperatures can cause cracks.
Symptoms of a Damaged or Cracked Heat Exchanger
If you see soot, a black carbon buildup, on the inside of the furnace it’s a sign that the system is not burning as cleanly as it should. If you see an increase in soot its usually a sign of incomplete combustion as a result of improperly adjusted burners or a cracked heat exchanger.
An improperly functioning heat exchanger will create strong and unpleasant odors similar to formaldehyde. It can cause headaches and other flu-like symptoms. If you think you smell formaldehyde contact a professional.
Visible Wear and Tear
When externals parts of your furnace show signs of wear tear, such as rust or cracks then it is highly possible that there is internal damage as well. Stress cracks are common and components can begin to rust from exposure to fumes or moisture from other sources.
If you notice any of the above symptoms contact us and we would be glad to assist you. You want to be sure to contact an honest contractor you can rely on to be on your side, and not one that will take advantage of your fear of carbon monoxide exposure.
A heat exchanger cannot be repaired. When a heat exchanged is damaged it must be replaced. Take into account the age of the furnace. If it is older than 10-15 years you may want to go with replacing the entire furnace. Although the upfront cost of replacing the entire furnace is higher, in the long run it would be cheaper than just repairing an old furnace.
Annual maintenance of your furnace is highly recommended. The heat exchanger is one of the most vital parts of the furnace and if not cared for properly it can be dangerous. Contact us today whether you need regular, timely furnace maintenance or fast, reliable, affordable furnace repair.
Call us for furnace repair and service in Ontario Canada. We service Mississauga, Burlington, Toronto, Oakville, Etobicoke areas.