A functional and efficient furnace is critical for your home’s comfort and health during the cold months. Your furnace works hard to keep your family warm and toasty. However, over time, the components in your furnace can wear out and fail. One of those components is the heat exchanger.

The heat exchanger facilitates the transfer of heat from the burning gases to the air circulated throughout your home. If the heat exchanger fails, the component can allow harmful gases, like carbon monoxide, to leak into your home and cause other issues to your furnace. Learn about more signs of a faulty furnace heat exchanger.

Your Furnace Produces Soot

Heat exchanger failure causes carbon buildup in your heating system. This issue results from incomplete combustion, leading to soot buildup around the heat exchanger. Besides soot, your furnace may produce yellow or orange flames due to incomplete combustion.

If you notice soot around your furnace, don’t automatically assume that the heat exchanger is the culprit. Instead, have a professional inspect the unit to determine the cause.

Your Furnace Produces Odd Odors

You may notice a strange odor similar to formaldehyde coming from your furnace. This smell is usually an indication of cracks in the heat exchanger. Formaldehyde is a dangerous gas that can cause serious health problems to your loved ones. So, don’t attempt to fix this problem to avoid exposing yourself to the toxins. Instead, turn off your furnace and call a professional for help.

Your Furnace Leaks

A leaky furnace indicates condensation that cannot drain properly. If a cracked heat exchanger is the cause of the leaks, the moisture may be acidic due to the combustion process.

However, a broken heat exchanger is not the only possible reason for a leaking furnace. The problem could also be from clogged drains or leaks in the vents, among other issues. But whatever the cause, leaks pose a serious safety risk. So, always err on the side of caution.

Your Furnace Is Noisy

Banging, whistling, or popping sounds may signify a damaged heat exchanger. Mostly, you will notice the noise coming from the furnace cabinets, which results from the expansion and contraction of the metal.

Since the furnace features many intricate components, the sounds may emanate from other parts, so don’t make any assumptions.

Your Furnace Exchanger Has Visible Cracks or Corrosion

If you are keen on furnace inspections, you will likely spot a broken heat exchanger before any problems develop. Visible cracks are usually a sign of severe damage that needs immediate attention.

Other than cracks, you may notice corrosion on the heat exchanger due to moisture and combustion problems, which indicates that the component doesn’t function as efficiently as it should.

As such, regular furnace inspection and maintenance are critical to helping you spot issues early before they cause more significant problems.

Your Household Members Suffer From Gas Poisoning

A cracked heat exchanger may cause nitrous oxide leaks which pose a severe health risk to your family. Symptoms of gas poisoning include nausea, headaches, eye irritation, and dizziness.

If you notice these symptoms in your loved ones and they go away when they leave the house, the furnace might be to blame. So stay away from the furnace as you wait for a professional to inspect, diagnose, and rectify the furnace problem.

A broken furnace heat exchanger compromises your system’s efficiency and your household’s health and comfort. So, if you notice any of the above signs, don’t hesitate to call a professional for timely help.

Apollo Heating, Air & Plumbing is a leading furnace repair and maintenance provider. We have a team of highly trained and experienced technicians who can inspect, diagnose, and fix any problem with your furnace, including heat exchanger issues. Schedule a service today, and let us restore your system’s efficiency.