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The Bad News: You’ve Got a Cracked Heat Exchanger — The Good News: You’re All OK

The Bad News: You've Got a Cracked Heat Exchanger -- The Good News: You're All OKDo you have a cracked heat exchanger in your furnace? Cracked heat exchangers are extremely dangerous and, left undetected, can lead to fatalities. Understanding what a cracked heat exchanger means will help you determine the best course of action.

A cracked heat exchanger allows carbon monoxide to flood out into your home. This colorless, odorless gas can build up in the home to toxic levels. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are very similar to the flu. Most people simply think they’re feeling tired and need to rest. This is actually carbon monoxide replacing oxygen in the bloodstream.

When a professional heating and cooling contractor finds a crack in your heat exchanger, he must notify you in writing on your service invoice, disconnect the power source (gas line or electrical cord). This is done solely for your protection. Cracks do not seal themselves and they only get worse over time. Using a furnace with a cracked heat exchanger is simply too dangerous to be allowed.

Most furnaces come with a lifetime warranty on their heat exchangers. Even with a fully paid-for replacement exchanger, the labor costs can easily add up. If you have an older furnace, it might be a better investment to purchase a new one. In the last 10 years, furnace efficiency ratings have increased significantly and the difference in price between repairing an old one and replacing it could easily be made up in energy savings in the next few years.

If you’re concerned that you might have a cracked heat exchanger, contact the pros at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. This is one case where it’s better to err on the safe side. We’ve proudly served Grand Traverse County area residents for more than 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about cracked heat exchangers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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