Signs Your Furnace May Have a Cracked Heat Exchanger

If you’re having furnace problems in Stockbridge, GA, you may have more to worry about than catching a chill. To avoid a potentially unsafe situation, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the common signs of a cracked heat exchanger.

Total Loss of Heating

In most cases, a total furnace failure is a worst-case scenario. Depending on the issue, it may even require buying an all-new heating system. With a cracked heat exchanger, however, your furnace may be shutting down to prevent a flame rollout. This dangerous phenomenon happens when exhaust gases build up inside the combustion chamber, causing flames to “roll out” in search of oxygen. If a rollout occurs, you may also notice burns or scorch marks on the outside of the combustion chamber.

Incomplete Fuel Combustion

A damaged heat exchanger can interfere with the way your furnace burns fuel, leading to inefficient and incomplete combustion. One surefire sign of a combustion problem is heavy soot accumulation on or around the furnace. If the burner is still operating, you may also notice a yellow or flickering flame. Strong, irritating odors are another common indicator of a malfunctioning heat exchanger. These odors are caused by formaldehyde compounds and other noxious fumes released during incomplete fuel combustion.

Sudden and Unexplained Illness

In rare situations, a crack in your heat exchanger could allow carbon monoxide (CO) to leak into your home. At low concentrations, exposure to CO gas often produces flu-like symptoms. Over time, however, it may cause dizziness, headache, confusion, blurred vision, loss of muscle control, unconsciousness, or even death. Because it has no taste, odor, or color, it’s also nearly impossible to detect without dedicated carbon monoxide monitors. If you believe your furnace may have a CO leak, evacuate immediately before calling for assistance.

A cracked heat exchanger is a serious problem that requires prompt attention from a qualified HVAC technician. At Jones Climate Control, you can call us 24/7 for professional heating services throughout Stockbridge and surrounding communities.

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