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Watch Out for Cracked Heat Exchangers

Most homes in the Westlake, OH area used forced-air furnaces to keep warm in the winter. These are efficient and reliable means of generating heat, usually feeding gas into burners that the system uses to warm the air. With fall officially here, you’re likely using your furnace on a regular basis, making this an ideal time to check it for problems. And furnace problems don’t come any bigger than cracked heat exchangers, which represent a direct danger to your home.

What Are Heat Exchangers?

The heat exchanger is simply a shaped piece of metal that can more effectively warm the air than the burners can alone. When the burners ignite, the heat passes through the exchanger, evenly distributing it to the air which can then be blown into your home with a fan. The shaped metal also channels toxic gasses safely out of your home via a vent and flue.

What Happens When They Crack?

Heat exchangers are durable and built to last, but the constant cycle of heating up and cooling down can create a lot of stress on them. Older heat exchangers may eventually crack under the strain, and when they do, big problems arise. In the first place, their ability to heat the air is greatly compromised, resulting in a lot of wasted energy. More importantly, however, these toxic gasses can leak out into your home, creating a health hazard. Many units will automatically shut down when this happens, which keeps you safe, but still requires repairs before the heater can function again. If your furnace doesn’t have this feature, we urge you to install a carbon monoxide detector to note when a leak takes place.

The minute you spot a cracked heat exchanger, turn the system off and summon the pros at Westland Heating and Air. We’ll repair or replace it to get your heater back up to speed!

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