Furnaces are very safe machines, but under the right circumstances and with the right malfunctions, they can be dangerous. To homeowners with a little HVAC knowledge, this should be no surprise. Furnaces ignite combustible gasses to create heat and fire to warm your homes. If the unit in your home becomes damaged or faulty, the consequences can be extreme. 

The largest danger and most serious malfunction furnaces sometimes experience is a crack in the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is a set of metal coils in the furnace that are directly warmed by the combusting gasses and fire in the burner of the furnace. The purpose of this part is to allow heat to transfer to the air in your vents while keeping any exhaust and fumes out of your indoor air. A crack in your heat exchanger can let dangerous gasses such as carbon monoxide leak into your ductwork and home.

Heat exchangers usually last 25 years or more, but there are a few factors that can lead to a premature crack, including:

  • Improper Air Flow

Dirty air filters and blocked vents can cause your furnace to work harder that it was designed. Factor in the stress of a harder workload on your heat exchanger over months or years, and a premature crack will not be far off.

  • Malfunctioning Burners

 A malfunction in your burner can cause your furnace to burn hotter than it should, especially when left unfixed. This increase in heat can cause a crack in your heat exchanger.

  • Excessive Condensation

A furnace left out of use can sometimes acquire condensation. This condensation then accumulates in the heat exchanger, which can cause it to rust and consequently crack. 

cracked heat exchanger

Your Best Defense Against Cracks

While most heat exchangers will last throughout the entire lifespan of your furnace without a problem, the consequences of an undiscovered crack are serious enough to remain vigilant. The best way to monitor your furnace and identify any problems with your heat exchanger is by scheduling annual furnace tune-ups. HVAC technicians are trained to inspect every part of your furnace when performing yearly maintenance and can ensure that your family is safe.

Schedule your Furnace Tune-up with Four Seasons today to receive an accurate assessment of your system and protect your family from the dangers of an undiscovered crack in your heat exchanger.