You may have heard about “cracked heat exchangers” in gas furnaces as one of the major problems these heating systems can have. What does this mean, and how can you protect yourself from it? Below, we’ll look into the problem of a cracked heat exchanger.
The Heat Exchanger Itself
You may not know what a heat exchanger is to begin with, so we’ll start there. The heat exchanger is the component in a gas furnace that does the direct heating of the air that moves into the ductwork. The heat from the gas burners can’t come into direct contact with the air because of the combustion gas, so the heat exchanger serves as the intermediate step. The hot combustion gas from the burners collects inside the metal chambers of the heat exchanger and raises the temperature of the metal. The blower then sends air around the exchanger and the heat transfers from the metal surface to the air. Once the heating cycle is complete, the remaining combustion gas in the exchanger exits the furnace and the house through a flue.