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3 Obvious Signs You Have A Cracked Heat Exchanger

Heat exchangers serve the all-important purpose of distributing heat inside the furnace, so if the heat exchanger cracks, it can generate a lot of problems with how the furnace functions. Unfortunately, a cracked heat exchanger is not always easy to see because of its location inside the furnace. You will have to look for certain signs that there is an issue. Here is a look at some of the more obvious signs that the heat exchanger in your furnace is cracked. 

Sign #1: Your furnace is filling the house with a foul odor.

Your furnace shouldn't ever really smell funny, so if it does, you can pretty much guarantee that there is an issue somewhere. Unfortunately, one thing a foul odor can signify is a cracked heat exchanger, which can be more dangerous than a lot of root-causes of funky furnace odors. The odor caused by a cracked heat exchanger tends to come across like something akin to burned plastic or some type of chemical. These odors are not good on the system, so you should shut down the furnace and leave it off until you can get a professional to your home to assess the situation.  

Sign #2: You see increased levels of black residue in your furnace or around the exhaust. 

Increased soot on the interior walls of the furnace or around the exhaust or ventilation pipes is a good sign of a bad heat exchanger, but this is a sign that often gets blamed on something else. The damage leads to improper levels of gas being used, which can generate a fair amount of soot. You may notice darkened spots on certain parts of the furnace when you look inside, or you may spot dark sooty spots around the exhaust pipe on the roof. Either of these issues should alert you to contact a heating system repair professional right away. 

Sign #3: You're having issues keeping the pilot flame burning. 

One of the most basic signs that a furnace is not properly functioning is if the pilot light will not stay stably lit as it should. However, most people associate this issue with the pilot light being soiled or with improper fuel delivery. The underlying issue could also be a cracked heat exchanger. If a heat exchanger is cracked, it is not properly distributing the fuel and heat, which can have an effect on how the pilot light burns. 

Learn more about heating system failures and heating system repairs from a local company such as Air Pride Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc.