Heat exchangers are one of the more critical parts to deal with in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system’s furnace. Home inspector Reuben Saltzman explains why in his article for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
It’s an industry standard: if a furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, it usually gets replaced. The American Gas Association has even put this in writing – they say “Any visible crack or hole is the reason for requiring replacement of the heat exchanger or furnace.”
So what’s the big deal with cracks or holes? Though not a common occurrence, a cracked heat exchanger could allow exhaust gas from the furnace to contaminate the household air with carbon monoxide. In order for this to happen, the furnace must be producing high levels of carbon monoxide AND the exhaust gas must be mixing with the household air.
The CO threat reared its head earlier this year when several schools in Springfield were forced to evacuate students after 27 elementary students at Springfield Public School suffered a mild case of CO poisoning. If you feel something’s not right with your heat exchanger, solve the issue through professionals who perform furnace repair in Ramsey, MN like the good people at Liberty Comfort Systems.
Cracks in a heat exchanger can ensue after thousands of on-off cycles; when the furnace is activated, the chamber expands and contracts when it is shut down. The cracks may appear at several locations all over the heat exchanger, such as the main body and the blower cone. Saltzman even ran a test wherein he tried to pass water through the cracks; the water came out instead at popped factory seams, while certain sections even had rusted holes.
Saltzman’s experiment underlines the importance of periodic inspections of the furnace. Putting the heating equipment through furnace repair in Andover, MN may be possible if it is less than ten years old and/or covered by manufacturer warranty. However, your technician will recommend replacement if the heating system is ten years old and has shown marked drops in efficiency.
A cracked heat exchanger is a warning sign you should not ignore. Let expert technicians like those from Liberty Comfort Systems solve any crisis before it becomes worse.
(Source: How Serious is a Cracked Heat Exchanger?, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, March 17, 2012)