Call Us For A Free Quote - Any Time (704) 684-5339

AIR QUALITYCOMMON HVAC PROBLEMSHeat PumpsHeatingIN CHARLOTTEDecember 27, 2021Symptoms You May Have A Cracked Heat Exchanger

https://southendhvac.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Symptoms-of-a-Cracked-Heat-Exchanger.jpg

Symptoms You May Have A Cracked Heat Exchanger

A heat exchanger heats up air to warm your house during cold days. The system makes up a series of coils and tubes that regularly loops to heat air that streams through it. The heat exchanger system begins at the furnace’s burner assembly and ends when the heating system links to the chimney vent. The heat exchanger is enclosed in a metal chamber to disperse warm air in your whole house safely.

When ignited, the heating system will channel hot combustion gases into the heat exchanger chamber to heat up the metal walls. Remaining air will then suck the cold air in your home and pass it along the heat exchanger to warm up the air. Once the heat exchanger’s walls have warmed up the air, it’ll send out the warm air back to your rooms through ducts. The system will burn out combustion gases produced in the heat exchanger into a vent that moves the gases outside your house.

Symptoms of a Cracked Heat Exchanger

The Heating System Flame Looks Yellow

A common heating system flame should be blue. If your furnace produces a stable blue flame, it means it is working properly. If the heating system produces a yellow flame, it can mean that your burner is might be dirty or your heat exchanger could be cracked. Likewise if the flame flickers, there might be more wrong with it indicating inhibited flow of the gas supply.

There’s A lot of Soot

When there’s a great deal of carbon inside your heating unit, the heater will produce a great deal of soot. Typically, that happens when the heating system fails to burn the gas entirely, called incomplete combustion. There are lots of factors on why the fuel doesn’t burn . A broken heating exchanger might be another possible factor for more soot production in the heating system.

The System Produces a Strong Smell

If your heater produces a strong and unpleasant smell, it could be that the heat exchanger has cracked. Especially if the fumes smell like formaldehyde they are highly hazardous to your body when breathed in.

If you discover that your heater produces a formaldehyde-like smell, you ought to instantly get in touch with an expert a/c professional. If you disregard the concern, you’ll be exposing yourself to more harm or threats.

The Heating System Parts Corrode and Crack

When the external components of your furnace begin to reveal the signs of tear/wear, the opportunities are high that the internal parts are become over stressed. That could indicate that your heat exchanger has started to break.

Water Collects on the Floor Near Your Furnace

If your heater doesn’t have any condensation issues due to bad insulation and you find some water on the flooring at its base, this probably means the heat exchanger is the concern.

Besides a cracked heat exchanger, there are other possible causes of leakages around the furnace. A humidifier could leak if connected to your furnace. Another possibility could be when the a/c’s internal drain system is blocked.

Possible Reasons a Heat Exchanger Would Crack

Getting Too hot

Furnaces’ heat exchangers crack when overheated. If the air flow in your heater is quite sluggish, excessive heat in the system and cause it to break. That’s why you need to perform routine maintenance to the heater regularly to enhance airflow.

Accumulation of Dust

If dirt and dust build up in the heater, it can block filters, block the blowers, and clog the coils. The blocked parts eventually inhibit adequate air from flowing through the system. This will get too hot for the heating system and minimize its performance.

Alternate Cooling And Heating

A heat exchanger can also split due to continuous heating and cooling. As the exchanger heats up and cools periodically, the chamber’s metal wall will also expand and contract continuously. As a result, the metal element will wear down and crack.

Deterioration or Rusting

Another reason your heat exchanger could crack is deterioration or rusting. Rust tends to eat away any metal and might cause a fracture on the heat exchanger. Rust can develop on the elements and establish cracks if you have poorly maintained your system or it is close to the 15 year mark in age.

Age of the Heater

The typical lifespan of a heater’s heat exchanger is 15 years. If your gas furnace is getting closer to that age, the possibilities are high that the heat exchanger can crack. So, you might need to get a replacement.

Threats of a split heat exchanger

Headaches from Cracked Heat Exchanger
Headaches from Cracked Heat Exchanger

Heating your home with gas and fuel oil can lead to the leak of harmful gases when the heat exchanger fractures. Fossil fuel gases like carbon monoxide gas and carbon dioxide can cause a number of health concerns. If carbon monoxide produced in the heat exchanger leakages out, it can lead to headaches, nausea, vomiting, and lightheadedness. Besides, extended exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide can trigger heart diseases.

A broken heat exchanger will likewise lower the effectiveness of the heating system. As warm air in the chamber escapes, the furnace will try to heat your whole house. As a result, it will increase your heating expenses considerably. Besides carbon monoxide, a cracked heat exchanger can also trigger the leak of gases such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. The gases can cause eye, nose and disorientation irritation, drowsiness, and flu-like signs.

If Your Furnace’s Heat Exchanger Cracks

If you believe that your heater has a cracked heat exchanger, you should not go and rush to repair it yourself. This type of issue is definitely something you’ll want to get a professional inspect.


At South End Heating & Air we specialize in furnace repair, call us for a free consult. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your heating needs. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? give us a call 704-684-5339