Heat exchangers are a major component of your furnace.
A damaged heat exchanger can be the source of dangerous carbon monoxide gas leaks.
Warning: Carbon monoxide gas leaks are dangerous and can be fatal.
- Cracks or open seams can occur in the heat exchanger at various locations due to heat stress, mechanical stress or mechanical damage. The seams in the heat exchanger may have come apart or been improperly joined at manufacture, or the manufacturing process may have failed to fully crimp closed a heat exchanger seam
- Rust may occur due to condensate leaks onto the heat exchanger from an air conditioner coil, from humidifier leaks, or simply from location of the furnace in a damp or wet location.
- Gasket or sealant leaks: broken crimped rings, broken or leaking heat exchanger furnace seals or gaskets, including cemented seals
Common heat exchanger leak, crack, or rust points: that should be included in an inspection include cracks at welds, seams, and on certain models, a heating service technician may know that defects have been found at a particular location.
Known causes of heat exchanger damage: in addition to the possibility of leaks and rust damage we’ve already discussed, other conditions can make a visible or hidden heat exchanger crack or opening more likely to have occurred. These include evidence that the system was dropped or damaged during shipment or installation, or knowledge of or evidence of overheating, such as the furnace’s burner having been forced to operate past the normal high temperature limits of a fan limit switch. If you have a rusted out or cracked heat exchanger, you can have the heat exchanger replaced at around 1/3 of the cost of replacing the entire furnace.