A cracked heat exchanger can be a major threat to your home and all household members. A cracked heat exchanger is most common in old furnaces but can develop even in a newer furnace if the conditions are right. To help prevent or detect a cracked heat exchanger, Absolute P&M Services would like to share the signs and the dangers of a cracked heat exchanger and how they can be prevented.
Symptoms of a Cracked Heat Exchanger
When a heat exchanger develops a crack it will provide some signs or symptoms that hopefully you can detect soon enough. As a homeowner you will want to be aware of the common signs of a cracked heat exchanger so you can seek help repairing your furnace. Some of the more classic signs of a cracked heat exchanger are:
• Strange Furnace Smells – A cracked heat exchanger will emit a gas or formaldehyde like odor. If you can smell strange odors coming from your furnace it is either a gas leak or a cracked heat exchanger.
• Furnace Soot or Burn Marks – If you can see soot or burn marks around the furnace’s burner this is another sign of a cracked heat exchanger.
• Furnace Cracks & Corrosion – When the heat exchangers are under stress, it will cause cracks and corrosion to develop on some of the nearby components such as the inducer motor or the draft diverter box.
• Yellow Ignition Flame – The flame from the pilot light or the ignition system flame should be a blue color. When the flame is yellow this is a common sign of a cracked heat exchanger.
• Loud Furnace Noises – When the heat exchanger cracks, some odd noises will develop. You may hear a popping or clanging noise while the furnace is running a cycle.
• Carbon Monoxide Detector – Carbon monoxide is a major concern when the heat exchanger cracks. Carbon monoxide cannot be detected unless you have a carbon monoxide detector. If you have one, then the detector will go off which will help you discover the cracked heat exchanger. If you do not have a carbon monoxide detector you should consider getting one to add to your home’s safety.
Can a Cracked Heat Exchanger Be Dangerous?
A cracked heat exchanger can be very dangerous as they can produce carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrous gas. Exposure to these gases can be lethal and cause serious illness and death. This is why it is important to maintain a healthy furnace. To help prevent a cracked heat exchanger you will want to ensure you schedule annual furnace inspection and tune-ups. Additionally, change out the return air filters and the furnace’s filter. Make sure you have all of the vents open to promote good air flow. Avoid installing an oversized furnace, which will develop a number of problems, including a cracked heat exchanger. With proper care and regular maintenance you can prevent a cracked heat exchanger. If your furnace develops a crack, quickly turn off your furnace and seek out furnace repairs before you turn it back on. Additionally, open up all of the windows to ventilate the home in case some gases have entered the home.