It is recommended that you have your furnace inspected yearly, preferablly before cold weather hits. When your furnace is being inspected, the inspector will be looking for signs of problems with the furnace. One problem you can encounter with a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger. Sometimes you can see the crack with your naked eye, but most of the heat exchanger is hidden, so typically you can't see the problem.
There are many reasons why a heat exchanger cracks. It may become rusted due to age, it can wear out due to poor maintenance or it can crack if the furnace is the wrong size for your home. Regardless of why it cracked, the heat exchanger needs to be replaced. Here are a few of the reasons you will need to get repairs for a cracked furnace heat exchanger.
Carbon Monoxide Can Seep Out of Through a Cracked Heat Exchanger
It is important to repair your furnace if you notice a crack in it. Having a crack in your furnace heat exchanger puts you at risk of being exposed to; carbon monoxide which is often referred to as the silent killer. Carbon Monoxide will leak out of the cracks and get into your ventilation system, which could be extremely dangerous to you and your family. While it is extremely unlikely that a small crack is going to produce enough carbon monoxide to kill you or your family, the crack will get larger over time, which can cause illness or death.
The Crack will Continue to Get Larger and the Unit will Eventually Fail to Work Properly
When you do not address much needed repairs, such as cracks in a furnace heat exchanger, the issue will only get worse. You may think that you can ignore the issue and nothing will happen, but this is not true. The crack will slowly continue to open up and grow larger, especially if you live in an area with extremely cold winters. When the cold air in your garage hits the warm air by the furnace, the crack will contract and expand, which causes it to grow. As such, it needs to be repaired quickly, or your unit may suddenly stop working when the crack gets large enough.
The Unit Works Harder With a Crack, Causing Additional Wear and Tear to Other Parts of the Furnace
When your furnace has a crack in the heat exchanger, the warm air that the furnace is producing is able to seep out. As such, the furnace has to work harder to produce more warm air. So all of the internal parts, such as the belts and gears, have to work longer and harder. In turn, this causes these parts to wear out sooner than they otherwise would have, which ultimately decrease the lifespan of your unit. Properly maintaining all of the parts on a furnace can help ensure all of the parts last as long as they are designed to, which in turn helps your furnace last 15 to 20 years, as it is designed to.
The Unit Uses more Power When it Isn't Functioning Properly, Which Raises your Gas or Energy Bill
When your furnace has any sort of repairs that need to be done, it will cause this appliance to not work at optimal levels. When the unit is not in proper working order, it will work twice as hard and it will cause your energy bill to rise. If you neglect the problem too long, then it may lead to needing to replace the entire unit which is costly. Having a crack in the unit does not allow for a good seal and you will be losing a lot of the energy that is being created. This in turn raises the amount of energy or gas that is needed to power the appliance, which in turn, raises your bill.
If you notice a crack on your furnace heat exchanger, or we find one one during your annual furnace inspection, the heat exchanger needs to be replaced. There is no way to fix a crack, so the entire exchanger needs to be replaced. If your furnace is near the end of its lifespan, it may make more sense to replace the unit, rather than just this one part. Failing to address the issue will allow carbon monoxide to seep out of the unit, can cause the unit to eventually stop working, can put additional strain on other parts in the appliance and increase your energy bills.
If there is a problem with your furnace, give us a call today and let us take a look and decide on the best course of action for you!