Cracked Heat Exchanger: What Are the Dangers?

Cracked Heat Exchanger: What Are the Dangers?

December 3, 2020 1793 By mindmingles

A heat exchanger is one of the crucial parts of a furnace system. It is in charge of vital operations and if it cracks, the entire heating system is not able to operate properly and at full capacity. Also, there are some health hazards associated with this problem. That is why it is essential to react quickly and replace your customers’ cracked heat exchanger as soon as it develops.

While your customers’ heating systems can continue to function even with a cracked heat exchanger, it is in no way advisable you allow it to continue. There are several dangers that originate from cracked heat exchangers, and you should do all you can to diagnose the problem and react quickly. Let’s take a closer look at why cracks develop, what dangers can originate, and what you can do about it. You can find more detail on .

What are heat exchangers?

Heat exchanger is a very important part of a furnace and it is the component that heats the air that circulates throughout your home. The burner is in charge of burning the gas, after which the heat that originates from the flames passess through the heat exchanger that warms the air up before it gets blown through your home. That is why every issue with a heat exchanger can cause serious problems for your customers. 

Why do heat exchangers crack?

There are several common reasons behind heat exchangers developing cracks:

  • If your customer’s furnace has been in use for over 10 years, the cracks could be due to the usual wear and tear.
  • Limited air flow can cause cracks in the heat exchanger. If registers get blocked, the furnace becomes dirty and clogged, causing pressure build-up and making the exchanger crack.
  • Cracks can also develop if your customers have a furnace that is too big for their home. An oversized furnace will frequently turn on and off, causing constant contractions and expansions of the heat exchanger, which will inevitably lead to cracks. 

What are the dangers of a cracked heat exchanger?

Cracks in the heat exchanger are a serious matter, and should you notice them during HVAC system inspection, you should advise your customers to react immediately. The two biggest dangers that a cracked heat exchanger can cause are:

  • Flame-outs: A crack can cause an incorrect mixture of air and gas to get mix and combusted within the exchanger. The gas that remains uncombusted will build up in the exchanger, causing flame-outs through the holes and the cracks.

Carbon monoxide leaks: These leaks are a serious health hazard that can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. This gas is odorless and invisible, and inhaling it can lead your customers to experience weakness, confusion, chest pain, and vomiting.