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HVAC Problem – Cracked Heat Exchanger

Posted by Empire Blog at 7:05 pm on April 6, 2012

<Cracked Heat ExchangerCracked Heat Exchanger Danger

For residents of Georgia, having an HVAC, or heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, is imperative. It is a system which controls the primary climate inside your house or home enabling you to stay comfortable and healthy. Among the crucial components of your HVAC is the heat exchanger. Located in a furnace, the heat exchanger is a metal box separating the fumes inside the furnace from the air in your house. Frequent and routine checking of this essential component is an important task. This is mainly due to the fact that cracks on the exchanger are not vividly visible since they are located deep inside the furnace.

Essence of having a Heat exchanger in your HVAC

The heat exchanger in your HVAC helps to transfer heat from the furnace to the air flowing through the ductwork. In the event that it is cracked, a bridge is created between these two areas. This allows for some of the fumes from the furnace to be drawn into your living space, while the air in space can also be drawn into the combustion chamber. These two conditions are not ideal and can lead to loss of life and property as a fire hazards.

Reasons for cracked HVAC heat exchanger

Getting a glimpse of the essence of a heat exchanger in your HVAC system and the hazardous effects it can bring when cracked,  are essential if proper care, maintenance and repair are to be carried out. However, understanding the reasons behind such cracks is more imperative. Cracks in your HVAC heat exchanger may be due to the following:

  • HVAC Unit’s Age

    • It is the common reason as to why most heat exchangers crack. Heat exchangers are made from metals which tend to expand and contract as the HVAC heats and cools. Though these changes might be slight, repeated and continuous expansion and contraction may lead to stress and weakening and which finally lead to cracks. Replacement of such heat exchangers can help curb such a problem.
  • Air problems

    • Blockage of the air vents and ductwork by debris and other foreign objects reduces the speed of air flowing over your exchanger. The slow air allows heat buildup which consequently tends to weaken the metal enabling cracks to form quickly. It is therefore advisable that you keep your air ducts open at all times.
  • Air Moisture

    • As your HVAC system dries out air from inside your house, it tends to produce moisture which is drained and carried outside. Accumulation of moisture will lead to presence of water whichtends to cool the metal differentially leading to cracks.
  • Heat Production

    • If the firebox in your HVAC system is faulty, the heater produces much more heat than is required, which remains trapped inside the system. This excessive heat put the heat exchanger under immense pressure and stress and may eventually crack your heat exchanger.