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Problems with Your Heat Exchanger?

Air Conditioning Services - Westland HVAC + Plumbing

We’re going to talk a bit today about what a heat exchanger is, the problems that can arise in a heat exchanger, and how these problems can be dangerous if left alone. Don’t panic—this can be safely and easily addressed when you call an HVAC professional to fix the furnace.

The truth is, gas furnaces aren’t inherently dangerous devices. But through neglect and disrepair, they can quickly become a huge problem when it comes to safety.

A problem with your heat exchanger requires heater repair in Fairview Park, OH or perhaps the immediate need for a heater replacement. This will vary from situation to situation. Luckily, our professionals are trained and certified in furnace care to the point where they can provide you the options you need when the time comes.

What Is a Heat Exchanger?

The heat exchanger is an integral part of a heating system. It’s the place where the heat from the burning fuel gets transferred to a home’s air—hence, heat exchange. This component is vital to your furnace because the combustion gas can’t mix with your household air. Otherwise, you’ll be breathing in harmful gases like carbon monoxide or methane.

When the gas of your furnace is burned, it heats up the metal in the heat exchanger. That metal then heats the air that’s constantly running through it. The newly heated air is dispersed into your home through your air ducts and it’s all thanks to the heat exchanger.

The Major Problem

So, what can go wrong with your heat exchanger?

Well, the most common problem to come from a heat exchanger is when it cracks. A heat exchanger has to be tightly sealed because the combustion gases inside it can’t mix with the air that enters your home. If the heat exchanger cracks, the crack can open as the metal expands and allow for carbon monoxide or unburned fuel to leak into your home and cause major safety concerns.

Corrosion is the most common cause for cracks in a heat exchanger. Since your furnace is constantly burning fuel in this chamber, the contact between combustion gas vapor and metal can begin to create corrosion, which weakens the metal over a long period of time. As the metal weakens, it will be harder for your heater to keep carbon monoxide safely away from the air you breathe.

The Solutions

Routine maintenance is the first line of defense against a cracked heat exchanger. If your system looks like it’s beginning to leak carbon monoxide or flammable gas, a professional HVAC specialist will detect the problem before it becomes harmful. Don’t forget to install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors in your home to make sure that you’ll be ready if a leak does occur.

Also, keep your ears open. If you hear a clicking sound from the furnace after the blower shuts off, it could be a signal the heat exchanger has cracks.

The team at Westland Heating & Air Conditioning can maintain your furnace safely and effectively. Call us today!

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