Cracked Heat Exchanger: All You Need to Know

A heat exchanger is one of the key components of a furnace that is responsible for heating the air. It is a set of coils or tubes repeatedly wound across the path of airflow inside the furnace that helps to heat the air.

What are the signs of a cracked heat exchanger?

One of the main signs of a cracked heat exchanger is a strong and unpleasant odor similar to formaldehyde. Apart from that, there will be plenty of black carbon buildup on the inner side of the furnace as the system is malfunctioning. You may also observe a change in the color of the flame, corrosion, and cracks on other components of the furnace.

Also read: Troubleshooting Tips for a Furnace That is Not Blowing Hot Air

Why is a cracked furnace heat exchanger dangerous?

It is dangerous to ignore a cracked or damaged heat exchanger of your furnace as it will expose homeowners to toxic gases like carbon monoxide. Inhaling carbon monoxide is a major health hazard and can be lethal. However, if you pay proper attention to the service schedule of your furnace and check the health of the heat exchanger periodically, then these appliances are safe to use.

Also read: What Causes Furnace to Turn On and Off Frequently?

What are the causes of heat exchanger cracks?

There are several reasons why a furnace heat exchanger might crack. Here are a few common causes for this.

  • Lack of proper maintenance

    One of the most common reasons for a heat exchanger crack is when you use a furnace too long without proper maintenance. In such cases, the heat exchanger of the furnace might get over-heated and suffer an excess of stress from expansion and contraction, causing cracks near bends and welds.

  • Dirt and debris accumulation

    If dirt happens to accumulate on your furnace, it leads to clogging of air filters and blowers, obstructing the airflow through it. This will cause the heat exchanger to overheat as the burners continue to emit heat and will eventually lead to a heat exchanger failure.

  • Worn out valves

    When valves that control the heat exchanger get worn out, the amount of pressure they can handle varies, leading to the cracking of the heat exchanger.

Also read: How Do You Know When to Replace Your Furnace?

Can you fix a cracked heat exchanger?

Cracked heat exchanger repair is a costly job. Any repair work which costs you more than half of buying a replacement is a bad investment. Therefore, it is always better to replace a cracked heat exchanger than to repair it.

If you notice any sign of a cracked furnace heat exchanger, call (949) 716-8379 to reach our HVAC professionals at White Mechanical for expert advice and quality furnace replacement service.

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White Mechanical

Founded in 2002, White Mechanical, Inc. in Laguna Hills, CA, is one of the most trusted and licensed (HVAC) service providers, proudly serving Orange County and the surrounding communities. Our management team has more than 28 years of experience in various aspects of HVAC technology. All our HVAC technicians are professionally skilled and certified to deliver outstanding residential HVAC services as well as commercial HVAC services to our clients. We offer professional HVAC services including installation, maintenance, air conditioning repair, and more at very reasonable prices.

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