What Is A Heat Exchanger And How Can It Impact Your Furnace – And Your Family's Health?


Your furnace has a number of parts that work together to provide your home with comfortable temperatures during the winter. But the part that actually does the heating is called the heat exchanger, which is a set of tubes or coils that twist through the main body of the furnace. The heat exchanger acts as a combustion chamber for electricity or a gas fuel. The combustion process makes the surface of the tube hot and a nearby motorized fan circulates air across the tubes and then out the vents of your home.

Problems with the heat exchanger can render your furnace less efficient, non-functional, or a potential danger to your family. Here are a couple of ways that a heat exchanger can malfunction – and how a heating repair services tech can help.

Dirty Heat Exchanger

A dirty heat exchanger, due to either sediment or mineralization from the combustion process, can prevent the exchanger from properly heating. If the exchanger becomes less hot, the circulating air in turn won't be as hot and your furnace will seem to lose efficiency.

If you have HVAC experience and have worked with a heat exchanger previously, you can perform the cleaning yourself with some steel brushes, a descaling agent, and some elbow grease. Make sure the electricity and gas, if applicable, are turned off to the unit before you perform the cleaning.

If you don't have HVAC experience, you should leave the cleaning in the hands of an HVAC technician. Performing the task if you're not qualified can crack the exchanger, which can cause major issues discussed in the next section—or otherwise harm the exchanger. A damaged exchanger will likely need replacing, which is a costly job.

Cracked Heat Exchanger

A cracked heat exchanger can leak deadly carbon monoxide gas into your home, which can potentially make you sick or kill you if the levels get too high. You should always have a carbon monoxide meter with alarm installed near your furnace to alert you if the gas does start to leak out of your furnace.

If the alarm goes off, vacate your home immediately of any family members and pets. Call an emergency HVAC technician from a company like Gregory Heating and Air Conditioning to replace the heat exchanger and to properly cleanse your home of the carbon monoxide. Note that the exchanger replacement might be costly, but is worth the safety of your family and having a fully functioning furnace system again.


13 October 2016

preparing your furnace for winter

I know it can be difficult to make yourself think about getting your furnace running when the skies are sunny and the temperatures are hovering around 90, but it is the best time for you to think about your heating system. Getting ahead of the winter preparation game will help to save on the cost of the repairs because the need for furnace maintenance is usually at a low during the fall season. This blog will show you what you can do to prepare your furnace for winter and when you should hire a professional HVAC technician to take care of it for you.