Signs of a Cracked Heat Exchanger

Your furnace has a number of parts that allow it to operate, but there are three key components that make up most of the operation: the burner, the blower and the exchanger. The heat exchanger works with the burner to generate the heat that is blown into your home, but the exchanger also separates the toxic byproducts of combustion and vents them out through your system’s flue. When your heat exchanger develops a problem it can be a potentially dangerous situation as toxic fumes and gases can escape. It isn’t possible to determine if a problem has developed with your heat exchanger visually as the component resides inside your furnace’s cabinet and is at the heart of the system. However, there are some signs that your furnace will give when a exchanger has developed a problem, and knowing these signs can go a long way toward knowing when to call for heating repair for your home in Aurora.

  • Flame appearance – a healthy, viable flame in your furnace should burn blue and burn steadily. A flame that is yellow, orange, leans or dances around is an indication that there may be a crack in the heat exchanger, so it’s important to call for help right away.
  • Excess soot – a furnace that is working properly will burn cleanly, leaving very little soot. If you start to see considerable soot in and around your furnace’s cabinet, this is an indication that the unit is not burning cleanly, which can be a result of a cracked exchanger.
  • Strong odor – sometimes a faulty exchanger can create an odor that smells like formaldehyde. This is not carbon monoxide, as carbon monoxide does not have a smell, but this odor can cause extreme headaches.
  • Excess corrosion – furnaces do not use water for any aspect of heating, so if you are seeing excess corrosion and rust on your unit, it’s important to have a professional check it to make sure components like the heat exchanger have not also become rusty and corroded.

Cracks in the heat exchanger are a serious problem and require the work of a professional as a cracked exchanger must be replaced. If you suspect you may be experiencing a problem with your heat exchanger, call APC Plumbing & Heating today and schedule an appointment for heating repair in Aurora.


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