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Kennihan Plumbing & Heating, Inc. Blog

Late Season Heating Problems: Cracked Heat Exchangers

It’s finally spring here in Butler County but the temperatures are still a little chilly. You’re probably still relying on your heater to thaw you out on these cold winter mornings. We’ve had a long period of cold weather this year and record-breaking low temperatures too—your heater has been through quite a lot.

There are some common problems that arise when your heater is put to the test like this. If you notice any weird things going on with your heating system then it’s a great idea to call up a professional from our team. Schedule an appointment for heating repair in Butler County, PA. We see a lot of cracked heat exchangers during this time of year. This is an incredibly dangerous problem in any home, so we’ll run through the basics of what a heat exchanger is, what it means when it cracks, and how to fix it below.

Heat Exchangers: The Run Down

What is a heat exchanger exactly? We don’t expect you to know all the parts of your furnace system but this one is particularly important. A heat exchanger is an aspect of your furnace that allows the system to transfer heat throughout your home safely and effectively.

Fueling your furnace with natural gas isn’t inherently dangerous, but if anything goes wrong with the combustion process your system can start to leak carbon monoxide. An incomplete or incorrect furnace combustion process will emit carbon monoxide and blow in through your ductwork. You need a healthy heat exchanger in place to prevent this from happening.

Is Yours Cracked?

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas because it’s undetectable without a good carbon monoxide detector in your home. Ideally, you want to spot a problem with your furnace before the heat exchanger runs into big problems. Watch out for these signs in your home:

  • Soot: Take a closer look at your furnace component. If you see soot built up on any of the surfaces, then that means that your furnace isn’t emitting a clean burn. It means that the burners in your system are either cracked, improperly adjusted, or sometimes both. Soot is an early warning sign, so when you see it make sure that you contact our professionals sooner than later.
  • Low Flame Quality: Another great early warning sign that your furnace is having trouble is the color and quality of your flame. Your flame should always be blue and burning steady. If you see your furnace change colors to orange or yellow or start “dancing” or wobbling as it burns then it means that your heat exchanger is a little under the weather.
  • Unpleasant Odors: Smell something funky? Your furnace will sometimes give off a bad odor when it’s going haywire. This is an early warning sign that something has gone wrong with the combustion process. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so when you smell something “off,” call a professional at your earliest convenience.

If you think you have a cracked heater exchanger in your home then you need urgent repair service. You can contact our team at Kennihan Plumbing & Heating, Inc. for emergency for 24/7 emergency service. Call today!

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