Understanding The Most Common Heat Exchanger Problems

The heat exchanger is considered the most critical component of your heating system. Without proper maintenance, the heat exchanger may fail which results in the need for an expensive replacement. Do you know the typical problems associated with heat exchangers? Read on and find out!

  • Cracking

Gas burning heating systems have a metal exchanger, and cracking is the most common issue experienced by many homeowners in Denton, TX. Heat exchangers contain the flame and combustion gases, and the presence of cracks is a serious health risk to the occupants. Usually, the cracked heat exchanger is associated with ‘no heat’ issue or an alert from the carbon monoxide alarm.

The most common reasons why cracks occur in the heat exchanger are poor airflow and constant overheating-cooling-overheating of the unit. Lack of proper air flow due to congested filters or undersized supply ductwork allows the exchanger to overheat. The constant overheating stresses the metal and eventually leads to cracks.

The cracks in the heat exchanger are visible to the naked eye. However, it is difficult to check all the cracked surfaces without removing the part. If you are not sure if you are having crack issues in this crucial part of your device, do not hesitate to call for an inspection or second opinion.

  • Rusting

Rusting is the cause of corrosive condensate that forms from the inside of the heat exchanger and slowly eating away the metal parts. This usually happens in high-efficiency furnaces with an AFUE rating of 90 or higher. This is because the flue gases in the secondary heat exchanger are cooler than those with lower AFUE rating.

For standard furnaces with below 90 AFUE rating, rusting can occur when the heater flue or chimney is too small or moderately blocked. The flue gases which were trapped in the chimney condense and drop back to the exchanger and start rusting the metal.

Rusting is also associated with having a too large of a furnace. If the unit is larger than the house needs, it easily heats the place and shuts off even before the moisture in the heat exchanger has completely dried. In this case, the collected moisture causes the inside of the heat exchanger to rust.

Preventing Heat Exchanger Problems

The best way to prevent heat exchanger issues is by keeping your unit well-maintained. You can start by replacing the return air filters regularly. For even easier maintenance, always schedule a professional HVAC check before the cooling or heating seasons start.

With that, our licensed technicians at North Texas Heating and Air Conditioning can help. Give us a call if you need a service or a reliable second opinion.