Your HVAC Tech Says You’ve Got A Cracked Heat Exchanger — Now What?

One of the last things you want to deal with as a homeowner is a furnace with a cracked heat exchanger. While this may not be the end of the world, there is a good chance that your furnace will be red-tagged (intentionally disabled until it’s repaired or replaced). If the furnace in your Greater Cleveland home does get red-tagged, it’s important to know the facts and what you might be able to do about it.

The facts about a cracked heat exchanger

Your HVAC Tech Says You've Got A Cracked Heat Exchanger -- Now What?The heat exchanger is a metal component within your furnace that transfers heat from the burner flame to the air before it gets distributed in your home. Due to the intense and constant heat, especially during the heavy heating season, fractures and holes can develop. If they’re serious cracks, this can create a dangerous situation in your home. This is one reason why it is advisable for you to hire an HVAC professional for regular preventative maintenance. A trained technician can determine whether the heat exchanger has a serious crack or breech and make recommendations on how to proceed, depending on the severity of the issue.

The dangers of a cracked heat exchanger

If you do have a cracked heat exchanger, and the damage is severe, you could be looking at a serious hazard to your health. Combustion fumes from the furnace will leak through the cracks and enter your home’s air. This can lead to respiratory issues, and is likely to inflame any asthma or allergy problems. Other escaping fumes may create a fire hazard and lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Remedies for the problem

How you proceed will depend on the severity of the issue and the condition and age of your furnace. Usually a serious crack will require a complete replacement of the part, which is an expensive proposition. A newer furnace is likely to have a warranty, and in this case, replacing a defective heat exchanger is probably the wisest course. But if you have an old or balky furnace, upgrading to a new, high-efficiency model will allow you to invest your money in a new system that will provide better home comfort and long-term energy savings.

If you would like further assistance with a cracked heat exchanger, or for any questions regarding home comfort, please contact our experts at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing. We have been serving the HVAC needs of the Greater Cleveland area for over 78 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Western Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about cracked heat exchangers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!   

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