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Professional Heating & Air Blog

3 Signs of a Damaged Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is one of the primary components in your furnace.  The heated gas from the burners passes through them and warms up the metal: heating the air to be delivered into your home while venting the exhaust gas safely out of the system. A damaged heat exchanger is a big problem, especially in Hammond, LA where our heaters sit unused for many months out of the year and which can contribute to the sort of corrosion that can damage a heat exchanger. Damage means that the exhaust isn’t leaving the way it needs to, which constitutes a safety hazard for you and your family. Here are 3 signs of a damaged heat exchanger that you should look out for. If you spot them, shut the system down and call for repairs immediately.

1)    Cracks

The pressures of temperature can compound regular wear and tear to produce cracks along the surface of the heat exchanger. Cracks can also spread to other components in the system, and the vented gases can contribute to further corrosion, letting in moisture and spreading the damage throughout the system in some cases.

2)    Odd-Colored Flame

The flames from your burner should usually be blue. If it isn’t – if it’s yellow or some other color – the problem could very well be a cracked heat exchanger. Also look for flickers in the gas, which could signal trouble in the exchangers.

3)    Soot

When the gas isn’t burning cleanly, which often happens with a cracked heat exchanger, it can create soot and smoke that will cover components in the heater. You might also detect the smoky smell created at the same time that soot it.

If you’re concerned about spotting such signs, a maintenance session from a trained professional can ascertain whether you have a cracked heat exchanger. Call A Professional Heating and Air for more.

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