Is a Cracked Heat Exchanger Dangerous?

As a premier heating system service near Alpharetta, GA, Gagne Heating & Air Conditioning understands that furnaces can be an excellent choice for most homeowners. While furnaces are not dangerous in and of themselves, using natural gas in your home increases the risk of toxic gas leaks and combustion problems. You can be proactive in avoiding these issues by taking proper care of your heat exchangers.

What Exactly Is a Heat Exchanger?

A heat exchanger is a component that applies heat to the air, which your blower fan sends into the ventilation system. It’s a clam-shell shaped metal chamber, arranged in rows within the furnace system. That is where hot combustion gas from the burners collects.

The intense heat from the gas raises the temperature of the metal walls, making the outside of the exchanger extremely hot. This process allows the furnace to apply the heat of the combustion gas to the air without releasing those gases into your home.

What Can Cause My Heat Exchanger to Crack?

The heat exchangers undergo a large amount of strain throughout the year, especially during the winter. Each time they heat up, the metal expands. Over time, expansion and contraction weaken it, which can eventually lead to corrosion.

This process poses a higher risk in older furnaces and those that are not well maintained. Corrosion weakens the metal, and the added stress on the heat exchangers can result in small cracks that may not be detectable to the naked eye but could lead to significant health and safety issues.

Check out this infographic on a few reasons why your heat exchanger may crack, and continue reading to learn more about potential dangers and how Gagne Heating & Air Conditioning can help.

Are There Any Dangers of a Cracked Heat Exchanger?

When fossil fuels burn, they create fumes containing carbon monoxide harmful fumes and safely conduct them to the chimney, all while transferring “clean” heat into your home. If a crack or rust compromises the heat exchanger, dangerous flue gases and carbon monoxide may leak into the house, resulting in illness and possibly death of the occupants.

Should I Get Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

Aside from keeping up on furnace maintenance, we recommend you have carbon monoxide detectors installed. If your carbon monoxide detectors discover gas in the home, make sure to open your windows, vacate the premises, and call emergency services immediately.

For more information about our services or gas repairs in Alpharetta, GA, contact Gagne Heating & Air Conditioning today.