Having a cracked heater on your furnace is dangerous because it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, plus it usually means you can’t use your furnace. So you should be on the lookout for all the signs before it’s too late. There are several things that will help you find out whether your heat exchanger is cracked. They include:
Cracks/Rust on Metal
Cracked or rusted metal components on the furnace or boiler indicate water exposure. You might want to have a professional inspection done on your heat exchanger if you notice any rust or deterioration on your furnace/boiler. A qualified technician should be able to outline different modes of repair for you. Sometimes the problem is repairable but at other times replacement of the whole heating system is necessary.
Is the inside of your furnace coated in soot? This can be a sign that the heat exchanger is cracked. The soot buildup is usually noticed close to the crack that is causing it. This is because soot is a result of improper combustion.
As your furnace becomes older, it becomes more likely it may suffer leaks in the heat exchanger. Check the type of flame that is being produced by the furnace from time to time. A good flame burns blue, steady and clean. If it dances around, you should consider having your furnace inspected. Yellow and orange-colored flames also might signify a cracked heat exchanger.
High Level of Carbon Monoxide
All homes should have at least one working carbon monoxide detector. If you have a multi-level house, you’ll want one on each level, including near the main sleeping area. When the detector goes off, open the windows and doors, turn off the heat and any other gas-producing appliance, evacuate the house and call the gas company or fire department. They should be able to find the leak. Carbon monoxide is often produced during the fuel combustion process in a furnace, and a cracked heat exchanger would certainly explain why CO is leaking.
If you recognize any of the above signs in your furnace, contact a professional. Contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Co. for more information on keeping your Yuma area home safe and warm this winter.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat exchangers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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