What Causes Cracked Heat Exchangers?

December 30, 2019
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Most often, when the furnace breaks down, the culprit is the heat exchanger within. Common signs that indicate that your heat exchanger may be cracked are physical damage caused by corrosion, a strange odor, change in the appearance of the flame, and higher utility bills!

Here is what causes a cracked heat exchanger:

Dirty air filters

If dust, dirt, and debris accumulate in the furnace, it can block the blowers, filters, and coils. The filters in your furnace should be able to last a fixed time and perform to a certain limited.

If they’re not replaced often or made to run beyond their capacity, they get clogged up quicker. Most filters need to be replaced every month or else they become dirty and start constricting the airflow.

As a result, the air that has to be heated can’t pass through. At the same time, the burners keep on emitting heat without any way of absorbing excess heat that’s being wasted. All of this takes a toll on the heat exchanger that heats up and starts growing splinters and cracks.

This also happens if the thermostat of the furnace is set on ‘on’ instead of ‘auto’. This makes the furnace running continuously, collecting dirt 24 hours a day.

Wear and tear

All heat exchangers are accompanied by valves that control them. These valves control the amount of pressure and heat that the heat exchanger receives.

Over years of use, these valves can wear out; this affects the pressure that the heat exchanger receives or can handle. Since gas pressure varies throughout the year, even a small sudden spike can put a strain on the heat exchanger.

Wear and tear can take place even if you’re taking good care of it but have been using it for years. This is because constant expansion and contraction puts a lot of stress on its surface and reduces its tensile strength.

To be sure whether it’s the right time to replace the furnace altogether, look for the manufacturing date.

If three-quarters of its life expectancy has passed, repairs would cost a lot more than replacement—more than a third of the total costs. In this case, speak to a reliable service provider and get it replaced to prevent such issues.

Oversized furnace

When you’re purchasing a furnace, make sure it’s in accordance with the size of your house. If the furnace is larger than the installed ductwork, it’ll lead to shorter and quicker heating cycles. This will cause the metal pipes to expand and contract more quickly, leading to increased stress.

An oversized furnace also makes the heat exchanger overheat and melt quickly. Quicker heating cycles also mean excessive wear and tear and higher consumption of energy.

Global Heating and Cooling offers 24-hours emergency services for Furnace repair Lincoln Park. Drop us a message for a quote now.

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