In the winter, to think about going without a furnace is literally impossible. There are several things that can go wrong with your heating system and some of them are more emergent than others. One problem that you don’t want to ignore is a cracked heat exchanger. This can mean big problems for your home. Ambient Heating & Air Conditioning is here to talk about how to deal with a cracked heat exchanger and what this could mean for your heating system.
Heat Exchanger Theory
Many people don’t fully understand their heating system. They have no need to as long as it is working as it should. However, it is important to understand some elements of your heating system so that you can be aware when something goes wrong. The heat exchanger is one of those parts that you want to have an understanding of so you can make sure it is functioning properly. Your heat exchanger is in charge of actually doing all the heavy lifting in your heating system. It consists of a set of looped and crunched coils that are filled with a liquid that flows through them. This liquid gets hot by combusting with a fuel source. The blower will then move the air over the exchanger and the warm air is then circulated throughout your ductwork and out the vents.
What Causes a Cracked Heat Exchanger
Most of the time, if you have a heat exchanger that cracks, it is due to old age. Because this part does so much heavy lifting in your heating system, it becomes worn out with time. If you aren’t properly maintaining your furnace, you may see this happen much quicker than someone that performs regular maintenance on their heating system. If you experience a crack in your heat exchanger, it is a big deal. A lot of the time, it will bring your heating system to a complete halt. If it does still allow the furnace to operate, there is most likely large amounts of carbon dioxide that is being leaked into the air in your home. This is a deadly gas that is difficult to detect without the right carbon dioxide detectors in your home. Not only carbon dioxide is a problem, but nitrous oxide is a problem as well which opens your home up to potential house fires.
How to Fix a Hairline Crack in Furnace Heat Exchanger
When you have a heat exchanger crack that has been found in your furnace, you have two options: replace the heat exchanger or replace the furnace completely. This isn’t a problem that you should ignore. This choice can be a tricky one to make. The heat exchanger is a big expense when you have to replace it. You are looking at a $600-$1800 repair. The furnace may cost even more to replace upfront, but you may find that a more efficient furnace is the best option. This is especially true if your furnace is old.