Main Office: 516-799-0700  •  East End Office: 631-998-3308

Main Office: 516-799-0700  •  East End Office: 631-998-3308

The Comfort Air Conditioning + Heating Blog

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Air Conditioning + Heating Blog

News, Information and Much More

hat to do if You Have a  Cracked Heat Exchanger

About Comfort

Comfort Air Conditioning + Heating is a premier high-end HVAC company serving Manhattan, Brooklyn and select parts of Long Island, including the East End. We specialize in everything from traditional to ductless air conditioning systems.

What to do if You have a Cracked Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is one of the most essential components in your heating system, but it can lead to a hazardous situation when it develops cracks. Here is what to do if you suspect you have a cracked heat exchanger.

What is a Heat Exchanger?

Before we discuss what to do if you have a cracked heat exchanger, allow us to explain what a heat exchanger is and how it operates. A heat exchanger acts as a barrier between the combustion process and the air circulating within your home. It transfers heat from one medium to another, ensuring your home stays warm and cozy during the colder months.

Signs and Symptoms of a Cracked Heat Exchanger

Detecting a cracked heat exchanger early on is essential for the safety of your household. Keep an eye out for the following signs that may indicate a problem:

  • Strange odors: If you notice an unusual smell, particularly a strong, pungent odor reminiscent of gas or burning, it could be a sign of a cracked heat exchanger (read our article on strange furnace odors here).
  • Carbon monoxide detector alerts: A malfunctioning heat exchanger can lead to the production of carbon monoxide gas. If your carbon monoxide detector frequently goes off, it’s a red flag that something could be amiss*.
  • Visible cracks or damage: Most furnaces have an access panel that allows you to view the heat exchanger. While it may be challenging to spot a cracked heat exchanger visually, inspecting it for any visible cracks or signs of damage is always a good idea. If you notice anything unusual, it’s best to seek professional assistance.

What You Should do if You Suspect Your Heat Exchanger Has Cracks

Should you suspect a cracked heat exchanger in your heating system, follow these steps to ensure the safety of your household:

  1. Priority: Your safety is of utmost importance. Immediately evacuate your family and pets from the premises if you suspect a cracked heat exchanger and open windows for ventilation before contacting a professional.
  2. Call a qualified technician: Reach out to a reputable heating system professional with experience in handling heat exchanger issues. They will have the expertise to inspect, diagnose, and resolve problems efficiently and safely.
  3. Regular maintenance: Schedule routine maintenance for your heating system to prevent future issues. Regular inspections can help identify potential problems, including heat exchanger damage, allowing for prompt repairs before they become significant issues.

Remember, a cracked heat exchanger can potentially release harmful gases like carbon monoxide into your home. Never attempt to fix it yourself. Always rely on trained professionals who can address the issue effectively and safeguard the well-being of your household.

*If you do not have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, purchase one as soon as possible. And while you are at it, check the batteries in your smoke detector!

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