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Serving Katy, TX and the Surrounding Areas

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Serving Katy, TX and the Surrounding Areas
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AC Comfort Blog

What Happens if Your Furnace Heat Exchanger Fails?


Your furnace is made up of many components. But perhaps the most important one is your heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is the part that allows warm air two into your home while channeling combustion gases outside of your home. Without this component, your furnace simply cannot work.

If the heat exchanger has started to deteriorate, your home and family are all at risk. The heat exchanger must maintain a completely airtight seal in order to keep harmful gases out of your home.

How do you know if your heat exchanger has something wrong with it? If you suspect that your furnace’s heat exchanger is failing, you need furnace repair in Sugarland, TX. Our team can help! In the meantime, you can keep reading to learn more about what happens when your heat exchanger fails.

Common Furnace Problems

A variety of factors can contribute to a failing heat exchanger. One is an air filter that is clogged or dirty. If your heat exchanger cannot bring air into the system, it may create more pressure inside that eventually leads to stress cracks. Changing your air filter regularly is a great way to protect your furnace’s heat exchanger.

You also want to make sure that your furnace is the right size for your home. A furnace that is too big can easily overheat. A furnace that is too small may have too much stress on the system which can lead to fatigue. In both cases, your furnace may wear down faster than the 10 to 15-year average lifespan that is expected.

Signs of a Failing Heat Exchanger

There are six signs you need to watch for that can indicate your heat exchanger is cracked.

  • Unusual smells – When your heat exchanger cracks, gases that burn inside the system, including carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide can leak into your home. These toxic fumes often bring with them bad odors such as the smell of sulfur.
  • Soot – You may notice a buildup of white soot inside and around the burners of your furnace. While it is natural for your furnace to get a little bit dirty, significant soot buildup is a bad sign.
  • Cracks – If you see cracks anywhere else around your furnace, it’s likely that your heat exchanger is also cracked. Any signs of damage need to be addressed immediately.
  • Burner flame – The burner flame inside your furnace should always be bright blue. A pale blue, yellow or orange flame means that something is wrong. There may be too much gas inside your furnace.
  • Unusual sounds – Your furnace is not silent, but it should also not be loud. If you hear any hissing or popping, there’s a good chance that your heat exchanger is cracked.
  • Carbon monoxide – If you have carbon monoxide detectors that are going off, they are alerting you of the presence of carbon monoxide inside your home. You may have other gas appliances, but there’s a good chance that your furnace is to blame. If this happens, turn the system off and get it inspected.

Your comfort is our business! Serving Katy, TX, and the surrounding areas. Schedule an appointment with us today.

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