Have you recently discovered that your furnace's heat exchanger has a crack in it? If so, there are a few things that you should know about this unique problem with your furnace.

A Heat Exchanger Can Crack Over Time

Know that a heat exchanger in a furnace can break from years of wear and tear. This is due to the part getting incredibly hot, which causes the metal to expand and contrast. When this happens enough times over the years, a crack can form in the heat exchanger, through no fault of your own. 

However, there is no indication of when the heat exchanger will form a crack. It is a lot like bending a metal paper clip back and forth. At some point, the paper clip will crack from the metal bending, but one paper clip may last longer than another simply due to how it was manufactured. 

A Technician Can Prove The Heat Exchanger Is Broken

If you have concerns about whether or not your heat exchanger is actually broken, know that this is one part where the damage is verifiable. There are many ways that your HVAC technician can prove that you have a broken heat exchanger, which is easily done by using an infrared camera. You'll be able to see parts of the heat exchanger that are hotter than others, where heat is escaping through the crack. The damage can also be verified by putting a camera into the furnace to see the crack on a monitor, or even a mirror and a flashlight. No matter how it is done, you will have evidence that the part needs replacement.

A Cracked Heat Exchanger Must Be Replaced

When an HVAC technician says that the heat exchanger has a crack and needs to be replaced, know that this is a part that must be replaced to keep your furnace up to code. A cracked heat exchanger is a huge safety concern for everyone that lives in your home. All of those gases that would normally be contained in the heat exchanger, such as carbon monoxide, can leak out through the crack and be a potentially fatal health hazard. There is no such thing as a small crack that only releases a safe level of harmful gas, so even a small crack would require that the part is replaced. 

Reach out to a local HVAC technician for more information on damaged heat exchangers, like McGuire Plumbing & Heating Inc.