Cracked Heat Exchanger

Big Furnace Problem & Carbon Monoxide Threat

Signs and Dangers of a Cracked Heat Exchanger

There are many different problems a furnace could have, especially older ones. Most heating system repairs that homeowners encounter are relatively minor and don’t pose a significant concern. However, a furnace with a cracked heat exchanger is a potentially dangerous problem.

A crack in your heat exchanger could let carbon monoxide escape from your system, which means carbon monoxide could seep into your home. That is why this is a problem that needs to be addressed right away.

What is the Carbon Monoxide Risk?

A cracked heat exchanger does put you at risk for carbon monoxide, but it does not always mean that CO is being leaked into your home. It is possible for a heat exchanger to have a crack but is NOT causing a carbon monoxide leak.

This is not a chance you should take. Because there is always the potential danger of carbon monoxide leaking from it, you should immediately take steps to get a cracked heat exchanger addressed by a professional HVAC technician.

This is such a potential hazard that you should not turn your furnace on again until it is fixed. Here in Michigan, it is required by law that an HVAC professional who detects a crack will shut your furnace down. That way we can ensure it cannot be turned on again, risking the safety of everyone in the home.

Leading Causes of a Cracked Heat Exchanger

The main cause is from overheating. If a furnace does not get enough airflow, the heat exchanger can get too hot and crack under the pressure of constantly expanding and contracting.

How does airflow get restricted? A dirty air filter is often the reason. That is why having a clean furnace filter is the most essential maintenance you need to do on your heating system. This basic task is vital in preventing such problems as cracked heat exchangers. However, other issues, like a furnace that is too large or too small for your home, can cause a heat exchanger to crack.

Does this Crack Always Require Repair?

Yes. A cracked heat exchanger is always a risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. The repair is to have your heat exchanger replaced. Or you may choose to get your entire furnace replaced, especially if your furnace is more than ten years old.

How To Tell if a Heat Exchanger is Cracked

Cracks in a furnace’s exchangerIn a visual inspection of your furnace, you may be able to see the crack yourself. Sometimes it is not easy to spot.

Other signs to look for:

  • Cracks on other parts of the heating system
  • Soot build-up inside of the furnace
  • Irregular or rolling burner flames

Often a crack cannot be detected with a simple visual inspection by the homeowner. Special tools and devices may be needed to detect cracks that a non-professional cannot see on their own.

If you suspect you have a dangerous problem like a cracked heat exchanger, call Just Right immediately at 248-673-0438. We will send a heating repair technician out to accurately test your unit for cracks.

Repair Cost

The cost to replace an exchanger is usually between $600 and $1200. If your furnace is rather old, you may want to get your whole furnace replaced instead of just replacing the heat exchanger.

Our Just Right technicians are experienced in the repair and replacement of heat exchangers. We are also professional installers of new furnaces throughout Oakland County. We can provide you with the information you need to determine if a new heating system is your best option.

Cracked Heat Exchanger Repair Scams

If someone has told you that your heat exchanger is cracked, but you have reason to doubt their finding, contact Just Right Heating & Cooling for a free second opinion. We pride ourselves on providing fair and excellent service and pricing. You can read testimonials from the many satisfied customers who recommend Just Right Heating & Cooling.

Call Just Right for a free 2nd opinion at 248-673-0438.

Avoid Furnace Dangers

Because improper airflow can cause cracks in your system, the best thing you can do to prevent problems is to change your air filter regularly. You can get a carbon monoxide detector to make sure you are notified if your home has a CO leak.

Also, have seasonal maintenance done on your heating system to identify problems before they become a danger to your home and family. Just Right Heating & Cooling provides professional maintenance on heating systems. Contact us before the cold season hits to have us perform maintenance and safety inspections on your home’s entire heating system. Call Just Right today to learn more about how we can take the work and worry of handling your home’s HVAC maintenance. Call us at 248-673-0438.

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