What’s the Danger of a Cracked Heat Exchanger?

What’s the Danger of a Cracked Heat Exchanger?

A cracked heat exchanger is often a common furnace problem that can surprise many homeowners during a routine furnace inspection. If an HVAC professional lets you know that your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, you should take action. Yet because this problem requires a full furnace replacement, you may be tempted to ignore it. After all, the furnace is still working, right? Yet a cracked heat exchanger can truly put your family at serious risk. Before you ignore the issue, you need to understand this risk and how it could negatively impact your family.

What is a Heat Exchanger?

The heat exchanger is a part of the furnace that exchanges heat between the return air from your home and hot exhaust coming from the combustion chamber of the furnace. This is what heats the air before it returns to inside your house, keeping your family warm and cozy. Between these two air masses is a sheet of metal or metal tubing that enables the exchange of heat but not the exchange of gasses. Thus, the carbon monoxide and other gases keep out of the air in your home.

What Cracks Allow

A cracked heat exchanger can provide a dangerous place for carbon monoxide to leave the furnace and enter your home’s air. Even the smallest crack can be large enough to allow gas to escape. While the CO levels may not be that high to trigger your CO alarm, they can be high enough to cause you headaches and other illness, which seems to have no explanation.

No homeowner would knowingly have CO enter into their home day in and day out, yet this is exactly what occurs when you continue to run a furnace with a cracked heat exchanger. To ensure that your furnace is running safely and efficiently in your Houston home, contact Airtron Heating & Air Conditioning for a full inspection.

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