The Dangers Of Cracked Heat Exchangers

Hundreds of people die each year because of carbon monoxide poisoning, and that is truly unfortunate. This toxic gas is produced as by-product in most residential heating systems, and the worst part of all is that it is both colorless and odorless. You cannot smell or see it; the only way to know for sure whether your home has a leak is to install a working carbon monoxide detector, and this is something the heating and cooling professionals at Walnut Creek Heating & Air Conditioning strongly advise!

How heat exchangers work and why they pose safety hazards when damaged

If your home uses a central HVAC system as its primary heat source, than its furnace more than likely utilizes what is known as a heat exchanger. The purpose of this device is instrumental for the optimal functioning of most gas-powered furnaces, often considered the most important part of these machines, and it can be equally dangerous when damaged or defective.

Before it can be converted into a usable source of heat, gas must first pass through a heat exchanger, where it thereby undergoes a process of combustion. The heat from the gases brought into the corresponding chamber are released through the exchanger’s walls, where they are then subsequently cooled and transferred into a series of connected venting pipes. The movement of these noxious, harmful gases (carbon monoxide being the main one) is normally facilitated via a draft inducer blower, which ultimately transfers them safely away from the home and its occupants.

What causes heat exchanger damage….and how you can stay safe

Given the role and way in which this device operates, you can imagine the potential ramifications a faulty heat exchanger can have. Any disruption in the transfer process can be life threatening, since naturally if the gases are not emitted outside the home, they will be released inside. Despite what many people mistakenly assume, direct damage is not the most common cause of heat exchanger issues.

In most cases, it is the normal wear and tear of the housing itself that lead to problems with the device’s structural integrity. Even the slightest crack or defect in the exchanger can cause a carbon monoxide leak to occur, and it is at this point that the matter has slipped into the danger zone.

To avoid the issue altogether and to keep your family out of harm’s way, sticking to a routine, preventative maintenance schedule is crucial. HVAC technicians are trained to identify heat exchanger problem areas and can accurately gauge what condition yours is in during their on-site assessment. As well, they will also test the carbon monoxide detectors in your home to ensure they are working fine. If a replacement or upgrade is in order, he or she will perform the necessary steps. Whether your furnace needs servicing, repaired, or you think there may be something going wrong with its heat exchanger, do not hesitate to call the experts at Walnut Creek Heating & Air Conditioning. Our team is here to help!

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