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Rentmeister Total Home Service Blog

What Does a Cracked Heat Exchanger Mean for Your Furnace?

Gas-powered appliances have a bad reputation for being hazardous, but this needn’t be a concern for you. Gas furnaces today are built with many more safety features than those of the past, and likely will never pose an issue for you—so long as it’s properly maintained and cared for. Routine maintenance and timely repairs will reduce the risk of you needing emergency heating repairs in Ogden, UT.

There is one problem in particular that could be hazardous should you skip maintenance or neglect repairs, and that is the case of a cracked heat exchanger. This calls for immediate repairs from a skilled HVAC technician, such as a member of our team. Give us a call if you suspect that you have this problem, and keep reading to learn more about your heat exchanger and why it needs to remain in good shape.

The Function of Your Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger of your furnace serves a vital purpose. This metal, clamshell-shaped component collects the combustion gas from the burner, which heats up its walls. Air from the furnace’s blower passes over the exchanger and heats up due to the hot metal. This enables the combustion gas to transfer its heat to the air that will then circulate into your home, without allowing toxic fumes to enter it. When the heating cycle completes, the exhaust in the exchanger vents out through the gas flue.

Your heat exchanger is a very durable part of your heating system. However, it may develop corrosion due to long contact with combustion gases—particularly if the gas isn’t venting as it should. Since the heat exchanger expands as it heats up, it’s easy for cracks to develop in areas where corrosion has weakened the metal. Even the smallest crack will gap wide when the exchanger expands, wide enough to let the exhaust escape.

This is the main cause of danger from a cracked heat exchanger—the exhaust from combustion gas contains carbon monoxide, which is a toxic and flammable gas that is also odorless and colorless. Thus, it’s hard to detect, and a heat exchanger leak can place this harmful gas into the air going through your home.

If you haven’t completed your heating maintenance appointment yet this winter, it’s never too late! Contact your heating experts at Rentmeister Total Home Service today!

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