A Cracked Heat Exchanger Can Be Bad News

cracked heat exchanger, Long Island, New YorkHaving a cracked heat exchanger can be a stressful situation. Many homeowners, however, don’t know what this means. If you find yourself dealing with such a situation in your Long Island home, it’s important that you know a few facts.

  • Your furnace’s heat exchanger can develop fractures and holes. The heat exchanger protects the air leaving your furnace from the combustion materials produced by your unit. As you can imagine, this exchanger is bombarded by intense heat for long periods of time. This constant heat can cause cracks to develop.
  • Depending on their severity, cracks can be harmful to your household. There are two elements that you must be aware of when dealing with a damaged exchanger: combustion materials and carbon monoxide. With the first, these materials enter your air through the fractures and holes that have developed. They can cause severe respiratory reactions, especially for those who already suffer from allergies, asthma or something similar. For the latter danger, carbon monoxide can leak into your Long Island home’s air in the same way and can lead to several ailments or even cause death in some cases.
  • If the damage is bad enough, your furnace will be red-tagged. You definitely want to avoid this. Regular service by a professional HVAC technician can help identify issues before the damage is too extensive. If the technician realizes that the problem is too severe, he or she will red-tag the furnace, which means that it’s not fit for operation due to safety concerns. If this occurs, the damage is probably too bad for it to be repaired safely. When this happens, replacement of the furnace is usually the best plan. This can be expensive, of course, so if your unit isn’t too old, you might opt to replace the heat exchanger itself. Just be aware that this choice won’t be cheap either.

For more expert advice about your heat exchanger, or for questions relating to home comfort, contact the professionals at T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating. We’ve been serving the HVAC needs of Long Island since 1934.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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