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Six Signs That Your Furnace Heat Exchanger Is Failing

Date:13 January, 2022   |   2 Comments   |   Posted By Team Alaquainc

A heat exchanger is used in furnaces to distribute warm air throughout your home. It is a critical component of your heating system, and any problems with it will not only cause your furnace to break down but also put your family’s health and safety in danger.

In order to generate heat, your furnace burns gas in an enclosed chamber. The heat exchanger is critical in preventing harmful “flue gases” (gas and combustion fumes) from entering the blower, which distributes warm air through your home’s ducts and vents. The heat exchanger must have an airtight seal to keep pollution away from your breathing air in order to perform effectively and prevent these harmful gases from escaping.


Why And How Heat Exchanger Fails?

A filthy or clogged air filter is one of the most prevalent causes of heat exchanger failure. A blocked air filter inhibits airflow through the furnace, causing the heat exchanger to overheat and stress fracture.

It’s also crucial that your furnace is properly sized for your residence. Overheating and heat exchanger cracking can also result from an oversized furnace.


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The most prevalent cause of heat exchanger cracking is regular wear and tear. Metal heat exchangers expand as they heat up and shrink continuously as it cools. This will just fatigue and break the metal over time. A gas furnace’s service life is estimated to be between 15-20 years, according to manufacturers. Schedule yearly checkups and change your air filters at least once a year to help extend the life of your furnace.

The safety of your house is jeopardized by a fractured heat exchanger. If one of the heat exchanger’s cells cracks, the gases being burnt – carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxide – might escape into your home, causing disease or, in the worst-case scenario, death.


Signs Your Furnace Heat Exchanger Could Be Cracked:

  • Unusual odors: An stench comparable to formaldehyde is commonly produced by a defective heat exchanger.
  • Accumulation of soot: Your furnace’s burners have white soot buildup in or around them.
  • Corrosion and cracks: Corrosion and cracks are two of the most common problems in the construction industry. Call experts right away if you see corrosion or cracks in other furnace components, such as the draught diverter box or inducer motor.
  • Flame’s Appearance Has Changed: The flame that heats your air in most furnaces is visible. Keep in mind that blue is normal, but orange or yellow is not.
  • Sounds Audible: When your thermostat switches on the heat, you’ll probably hear a rattling noise. Because the heat exchanger is formed of metal, it will expand and contract as it heats, resulting in rattling, popping, and/or pounding noises.
  • Carbon Monoxide Presence: Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a deadly flammable gas that has no odor, color, or taste. CO may seep into your home if your heat exchanger fails. Only a carbon monoxide detector or alarm will warn you of the presence of CO; nevertheless, relying solely on a CO alarm to identify a failing heat exchanger is not recommended; instead, you can get a yearly assessment of your furnace and heating system.

You, as a homeowner, will be inconvenienced by problems caused by a faulty heat exchanger. It does, however, represent a major threat to the safety of you and your family. Fuel oil, propane, or natural gas provide heat for many heating systems. Unfortunately, these fossil fuels emit emissions that contain soot, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and carbon monoxide, among other things. When these fuels are consumed, these gases are expelled into your home, and your heat exchanger is damaged. If this happens, it is possible that you and your family would have major health problems.


A Cracked Heat Exchanger Can Be Fixed-

A cracked heat exchanger should never be attempted to be inspected and/or repaired by the homeowner. and should instead be replaced. Request an inspection and diagnosis from a trained technician. An expert can tell you on the best option and how to maintain your heating system.



Your heating system will be harmed by a fractured heat exchanger. Your family’s health is also jeopardized. This problem can, thankfully, be avoided. Your heating system will last a long time if you take care of it and get it tuned up on a regular basis. If you have any questions or concerns about your equipment! contact professionals as soon as possible.

Alaqua is an experienced USA-based processing equipment such as the evaporator, crystallizer, distillation equipment, solvent recovery, spray dryer, and heat exchanger equipment supplier worldwide for food, pharmaceutical, chemical, environmental, and power generation industries. We also offer processing equipment services that include equipment fabrication, installation and commissioning, troubleshooting, personnel training, and field, and retrofitting services. Contact us today to know more and to resolve queries about their processing equipment and services!

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2 Responses
  1. I didn’t know that my family’s health could be at risk if our heat exchanger is fractured. I suspect that something’s off with my furnace since it keeps making odd sounds when I turn it on, so I’ll look for a professional to take a look at it this week. I appreciate your advice on preventing gas from filling our house due to a faulty heat exchanger.

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