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A Way Furnace Maintenance Keeps You Safe: Cracked Heat Exchangers

Outdoor temperatures are dropping as we cross over into December, and we hope that you’ve already arranged to have maintenance for your natural gas furnace. If you haven’t, it’s still not too late to schedule it with us and have your heating system in excellent shape for when the cold weather really strikes hard.

We’ve written before about why a professional inspection and tune-up for the heating system is something that you must have done every fall. In this post, we’ll focus on a specific safety issue with furnaces you can avoid thanks to maintenance—just one of the many reasons to make maintenance an annual tradition for home comfort!

The Heat Exchanger: What It Is—Why You Don’t Want It Cracked

One of the basic components of a gas furnace is the device that transfers heat from the combustion gas safely to the air flow from the blower. This component is called the heat exchanger, a metal clamshell-shaped part that collects the hot combustion gas from the burners. This gas obviously cannot come into contact with the air that will eventually reach the rooms. Instead, the gas raises the temperature of the metal of the heat exchanger, and the air flows around it and picks up the heat. The exhaust from the combustion gas then exits out a flue.

Should the heat exchanger develop corrosion (which can occur because of exposure to the water vapor in the combustion gas) it will weaken the metal and cause cracks to start appearing. This will permit carbon monoxide gas from the exchanger to escape—and you certainly don’t want that entering the air!

During maintenance, a technician will check to see that the exchanger’s integrity hasn’t been compromised. If the tech notices corrosion or cracking, he or she will arrange to have it replaced. (In cases of extremely old furnaces, corrosion is usually a sign that the whole unit should be replaced.)

Call Malek Heating & Cooling today to arrange for your heating maintenance in Wilmette, IL.

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