How to Determine If You Have a Cracked Heat Exchanger

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How to Determine If You Have a Cracked Heat Exchanger

The Steger, Illinois area isn’t where you want to be during January if you have no heat. With average low temperatures falling to the mid-teens at night, you want a cozy place to cuddle up and stay warm. 

A malfunctioning furnace can occur for many reasons. Regular furnace maintenance helps ensure that your furnace is always ready when you need it. Merts Heating & Air Conditioning has trained HVAC technicians to handle any heating repair or furnace replacement.

One serious issue that may fail to make your home as warm as you’d like is a cracked heat exchanger, the part of your heating unit that heats the air that circulates throughout your home. If you need a heat exchanger repair, you should never continue to operate your furnace. Doing so will only cause greater damage, even to the point of needing a complete heating system replacement. Running your furnace with this issue also puts your family at risk, since toxic gasses can be released into the circulating air. 


The following are tell-tale signs that indicate you may have a cracked heat exchanger

  1. Strange sounds – If you hear banging, cracking or popping when the furnace starts, there’s a good possibility you need a heat exchanger repair. 
  2. Soot buildup – Excessive white soot either around or in the burners of your furnace.
  3. A change in the color of your flame – The flame inside the furnace typically is visible. A cracked heat exchanger may change the color of the flame from blue to orange or yellow and may also cause it to waver back and forth.
  4. Visible cracks or corrosion – A stressed heat exchanger usually has cracks. If you notice cracks or corrosion on any parts of your furnace, call an HVAC professional right away.
  5. Carbon monoxide – Carbon monoxide (CO) is colorless, odorless and tasteless. For safety, every homeowner should invest in a CO detector. If yours begins beeping, turn off your furnace immediately, and call Merts Heating & Air Conditioning
  6. Abnormal odors – A cracked heat exchanger will often put off obnoxious odors either like formaldehyde, which smells like a strong pickle, or a rotten egg smell.

Never take a wait-and-see approach before seeking help with your heating system. Scheduled furnace maintenance from a professional HVAC company provides opportunities for the technician to inspect and clean your furnace inside and out so broken or malfunctioning parts can be repaired. 

To avoid unplanned heat emergencies, call Merts Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule home comfort system maintenance or a heat exchanger repair.