HVAC appliances, while they are meant to give comfort, can also become a reason for causing absolute discomfort. Leaks in components like ductwork is discomforting but leakage in the component like heat exchanger is lethal. One reason why HVAC professionals highly endorse getting inspection and tune-up for Residential Furnaces is to minimize the threats that the prospect issues in the Furnace and its components can cause. This blog defines the threats a leaky Heat Exchanger poses and explains how in-time annual maintenance and tune-up by a professional can save you from great havocs.

Abrupt and sudden Furnace Fires

With a Furnace unit not maintained on a regular basis, cracks, dents, and holes in the heat exchanger unit is a clear consequence. Cracks in the heat exchanger mean that gases and air can mix anytime in disproportionate measures to cause a sudden and totally unexpected fire. This is especially horrendous for the times when you are away for groceries or to pick your kids from school.

In order to understand how this fire can set, you need to understand the mechanism. In the inside of a heat exchanger, uncombusted gas is present. This gas heats the heat exchanger and the cold air slides on the outside walls of the heat exchanger to receive the heat. The hot air is then circulated in the indoor, while the air inside of the heat exchanger is then expelled through the vents. However, in case of cracks in the heat exchanger, the inside gases can get mixed with the outside gases and get circulated in the indoor. Also, as the combustion gases mix, they can sometimes cause fires that cause severe damage. It takes more than $4,500 to recover from the damage caused by Furnace Fires. 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

CO Poisoning is another consequence of a leaky heat exchanger. The heat exchanger, as it is designed to expel combustion gases outside from the vent fails to do so when there is a crack in the heat exchanger unit. As a result, the combustion gases get mixed with the air that is meant to circulate in the indoor. This can cause CO poisoning and the presence of the CO in the indoor can go unfelt for hours until its impacts start to reveal. And by the time it is felt, much damage has already been made.

How to avoid and identify Heat Exchanger Cracks?

The best way to avoid accidents associated with cracky Heat Exchanger is to have the system maintained annually by a professional. A tune-up visit by a professional is highly recommended as it helps identify possible threats. The second way to identify the cracks is to install a CO detector. Since Heat Exchanger leaks also usually cause CO poisoning, a CO alarm can detect that. Make sure to be vigilant about changing CO detector batteries in time if you have a detector installed. Most people suffer accidents despite having a detector installed but one with expired batteries.
Your life is precious and so is your family's. Play safe, take precautions.

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