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A cracked furnace heat exchanger is a serious issue that can cause a range of safety, efficiency, and performance problems. Heat exchangers are responsible for heating the air that passes through them, and if the heat exchanger has a crack, it can release hot or toxic gasses into your Baltimore, MD, home or business. Here are some common symptoms of a cracked furnace heat exchanger.

The Furnace Flame Has Lost Its Blue Hue

The presence of a yellow flame indicates dirty burners, with excessive dust and dirt coming out of your vents. If the yellow flame flickers, there is a high chance of a cracked furnace.

Burning Smell When the Furnace Is Running

The bad smell irritates the nose and eyes and can cause you to feel sleepy. When there is not enough airflow in your furnace, it will overheat and crack. Cracked furnaces emit carbon monoxide that has a flu-like effect.

Soot Buildup Around the Furnace

This indicates an incomplete combustion process due to leaked gas entering other areas of your furnace. A proper inspection will prevent potential HazMat materials, such as carbon monoxide (CO), from leaking through exhaust pipes. Doing so will also alert you to other potential heating problems. Additionally, any type of pollution will wreak havoc on your indoor air quality.

Visible Signs of Corrosion on the Heat Exchanger Surface

The leading causes include direct contact with corrosive gasses escaping from the crack(s). Corrosion occurs due to chemical decay when a system’s temperature or pH levels are not maintained. Further wear occurs as a result of liquids or gases moving at high velocities and passing through small openings in the heat exchanger.

Abrasive wear happens when foreign materials contact the surface of a heat exchanger. The increased heat produced by a furnace with a cracked heat exchanger also causes wear and tear to the fan motor and electronic ignition.

Loud Humming Noises

A crack in your heat exchanger can range in size from minor hairline fractures to large breaks in the metal. The bigger the crack, the louder and more severe these unusual noises will be during operation.

If you hear any pinging, popping, banging, or rattling sounds coming from your furnace, it’s important to turn off the system right away. Don’t use it until a qualified service technician has inspected it for issues. They’ll let you know if you’re looking at a complete replacement. This should also prompt you to invest in yearly maintenance, ensuring that all moving parts are operating effectively.

Unbalanced Heating Among Different Rooms

Uneven heating occurs due to the furnace not being powerful enough for the space, but it is more likely to be a result of a cracked heat exchanger. If damaged, it can prevent proper airflow throughout the system, leading to inadequate heating in some areas and excess heating in other spots.

Higher Energy Costs Due to Inefficient operation

Decreased airflow, due to reduced pressure in the system, also causes less-efficient heating performance. A cracked heat exchanger can increases fuel usage, leading to higher energy bills for homeowners like you over time.

Moisture Accumulates Around Your Furnace

Moisture accumulation around your furnace may cause corrosion and deterioration of the exchanger, leading to cracks in the metal. It can also result in costly repairs and potential safety hazards, such as the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Ensure your heating system has regular inspections to prevent system malfunctions, including a buildup of pollutants. Remember, repairs will get increasingly expensive the more they occur.

The accumulation of dust, corrosion, and the age of your furnace, in addition to inconsistent operation, are all possible reasons that a heat exchanger could crack. At Griffith Energy Services, we specialize in all things heating and cooling. In fact, furnace repairs and replacements are our specialties! Book your heating maintenance appointment now, and avoid further headaches in the future.

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