Signs Of A Cracked Or Damaged Furnace Heat Exchanger

Although you may not be familiar with the component, your propane or natural gas furnace's heat exchanger is one of the most critical components of the HVAC system. The heat exchanger is the largest component of your furnace, and it is the job of the heat exchanger to transfer the heat created by the combustion of the gas or propane to the exterior parts of the unit and then into your home. Here are a few of the most common signs that your heat exchanger could be damaged or cracked.

The Color of the Furnace Flame Is Not Blue

If you carefully look inside your natural gas or propane furnace you should ideally see a strong blue flame coming from the burners. This means that the gas or propane has become entirely combustible, and the furnace is working properly. However, if the flame looks more orange or yellow, the issue could be a cracked or damaged heat exchanger.

The yellow or orange flame means that there is no sufficient air being fed into the burner. If the flame also flickers or your furnace continues to cycle on and off, contact your furnace technician right away to determine if the issue is a damaged heat exchanger.

Strange Odors Coming from Your Furnace

A furnace that functions normally should not have any foul odors. If you notice an odor that is similar to formaldehyde, the issue could be a cracked heat exchanger. The cracked heat exchanger does not allow for the proper mixture of air and combustible propane or natural gas. The smell of something sweet or a smell similar to noxious formaldehyde is cause for concern.

If this smell is inside your home, turn off your furnace immediately and contact a furnace repair person to have your heat exchanger replaced.

The Presence of Carbon Monoxide

Finally, one of the most dangerous signs of a cracked or damaged heat exchanger is the presence of carbon monoxide gas in your home. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless and cannot be detected unless you notice the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning or have a carbon monoxide detector. The signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, vision problems, and dizziness.

If anyone in your household experiences these symptoms when they are in the home or your carbon monoxide monitor begins to beep, turn off your furnace immediately and contact a professional.

A cracked or damaged heat exchanger can be a dangerous issue that should be immediately addressed by a professional furnace technician.