Friday, December 28, 2018

4 Signs Your Furnace's Heat Exchanger is Damaged

A heat exchanger is part of every furnace. The heat exchanger is the component that keeps combustion fumes separate from the breathable air that circulates through your home. If the heat exchanger becomes damaged, it can cause serious safety issues. That's why it's important to know the warning signs of a damaged heat exchanger and address the problem quickly. If you notice any of these warning signs of a cracked heat exchanger, have your furnace inspected and repaired as soon as possible.


A faulty or cracked heat exchanger can produce a strong odor similar to the smell of formaldehyde. This odor can cause severe headaches and other symptoms. Have your furnace inspected immediately if you notice a formaldehyde odor in your home. 

Flame Appearance

You should see a blue, steady flame if your gas furnace is working properly. An orange or yellow flame, or a flame that's unsteady and flickering, is a sign that your heat exchanger may be cracked. Call an
HVAC technician for heating repairs right away.

Soot Buildup and Discoloration

Soot buildup inside your furnace indicates that it isn't burning cleanly. This is often caused by a cracked heat exchanger. When there are cracks in your heat exchanger, gases will escape. Soot will start to build up and the surrounding metal will become discolored. If you notice unexplained dark spots on your heat exchanger, it's a sign that it has a crack.
Call a heating contractor for help as soon as you can. 

Carbon Monoxide Alarm

If your heat exchanger is damaged, carbon monoxide can escape through the cracks. Carbon monoxide is dangerous and can even be life-threatening. Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home. If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds, immediately vacate your home and call your local fire department.