Most homeowners have never heard of having a crack in their heat exchanger, and if they have they don’t really know what all it entails. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer who tries to maintain your furnace and other equipment in your home, good for you. However, as concerned Bay Area HVAC installation and repair experts, we want homeowners to know how a crack develops in your heat exchanger, the possible dangers, and what it means in terms of your furnace being “red-tagged.”
How cracks or fractures develop in your heat exchanger
Basically, the heat exchanger is a piece of metal that is exposed to intense heat for long periods of time, because it shields the air stream coming from your furnace from the fire that actually creates the heat. Because this metal is exposed to heat almost continuously, it eventually wears down which can result in holes or tiny hairline cracks that appear in its surface.
How significant do cracks have to be to require repair or replacement?
Superficial cracks (meaning the crack is visible on the surface, but does not penetrate through) are usually not a reason to worry, and do not necessarily mean you will have to have your heat exchanger or entire system replaced. However, if the damage is substantial it can put your family at risk, as a furnace with a severely cracked heat exchanger is dangerous to operate. Your family members may be exposed to carbon monoxide, or suffer respiratory issues as combustion materials may leak through holes or cracks. To be safe, have your Bay Area HVAC specialist check things out.
Will your furnace be red-flagged, and what does it mean?
When an HVAC technician inspects your furnace and discovers a substantial crack in your heat exchanger, he or she may determine that it should be red-tagged. This simply means that until you have your furnace repaired or replaced, you will not be permitted to operate it. It may be that you can have the heat exchanger replaced without replacing your entire furnace, however both options can be costly.
At Ortiz Heating & A/C, we want to help you keep your furnace and other heating/cooling equipment in good working order, but we also want to help you keep your family safe! Need your heat exchanger checked out to ensure there are no dangerous cracks or fractures? Give our Bay Area HVAC specialists a call today.