Comprised of a network of coiled tubes and housing combustion gases, a furnace heat exchanger creates the warm air we enjoy in our homes each winter. Once the blower is activated, cool air flows over the heat exchanger, creating warm air, where it does not meet the hazardous gases. The heat rises in the plenum, a sheet-metal box, that connects to the air supply ducts. The ducts then carry warm air throughout the building. During the heating process the combustion gases produced, safely exit the house through the access of the flue pipe. Today, we at North Country Aire would like to continue to share the basics concerning heat exchangers.
Dangers of Cracked Heat Exchanger
A serious health risk is any leaks of the combustion gases that do not expel from the home. Splinters, cracks or holes in the exchanger allows for combustion gas leaks. Combustion spillage is probable whenever fuel is burned. Small doses of these toxic compounds can result to severe health complications and even be fatal under some circumstances. Any time fossil fuels burn, harmful substances can be releases, such examples include Sulfur, Nitrogen Dioxide, Nitric Oxide, Volatile Organic Compounds, Hydrocarbons, Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
There are different factors that determine how much created combustion gases occur and though the heating equipment is designed to safely remove all of the combustion gases, there can be technical difficulties. As long as the heat exchanger and ventilation system are functioning to their full potential, none of the combustion gases should ever make it into the circulating air. Developing leakage of combustion gases is not uncommon and these gases colorless and odorless. The “silent killer” otherwise known as carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas.
Causes of a Furnace Gas Leak
Combustion gas leaks are commonly found in the following:
1) A cracked heat exchanger or other equipment that is damaged.
2) Complications with chimney or vent.
3) Backdraft caused by negative pressure and other pressure concerns.
Furnace Maintenance Can Help Prevent a Cracked Heat Exchanger
Routinely scheduled professional heating system maintenance services can help you avoid the hazards associated with the heat exchanger. Qualified specialists assess, among other things, the heating system entirely, including the condition of the heat exchanger and the function of the air ducts during maintenance services. Cracks can inflict heat exchangers from time and use, poor maintenance applications, and other circumstances. Severe buildup of dirt and dust on the filters, coils, blowers, and heat exchanger causes the air has difficulty passing through these obstructions. Where it is likely splinter or crack, the restrictions can cause the overheating of the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger can crack from the extreme gas pressure as well. Pressure intensifies if the pressure control valves wear down, causing the pressure to be inadvertently adjusted.
Furnace Repair, Replacement Services & More in Cambridge, St. Francis, Oak Grove, North Branch & Greater Isanti, Minnesota
A certified professional can detect any crack on the heating exchanger during the inspections, tune-ups, and other maintenance services. If a cracked heat exchanger is detected, your furnace will be red tagged (shut down) until this issue can be remedied. Be sure to install a carbon monoxide detector, if you haven’t already, to detect potential dangers. If your detectors alarm you of a carbon monoxide leak, turn off the furnace and any other gas appliances and wait outside until emergency responders arrive and give you the all clear. Do not turn them back on until a professional has inspected the furnace, if it is the source of the carbon monoxide, it will likely need to be replaced. Schedule a heating system inspection and maintenance service with the professionals of North Country Aire and let us provide assistance. Call us for all your HVAC needs!