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Furnace Heat Exchanger: What You Need to Know
Furnace heat exchanger

During the winter months, you depend on your furnace to keep your home comfortable and to keep you healthy. In turn, your furnace depends on you to make sure everything is working properly. A key component to look at is the furnace heat exchanger. If this breaks down, the consequences can be tragic.

What is a Furnace Heat Exchanger?

A furnace heat exchanger is a thin metal sheet that acts as a shield between the combustion chamber and the blower. The combustion chamber is a sealed chamber where fuel is ignited and mixed with air to make heat. This air, however, is full of flue gases, that can be dangerous to breathe. As the chamber heats the exchanger up on one side, the blower blows clean air across its surface on the other and distributes the heated air across your home.

Troubles With a Furnace Heat Exchanger

The biggest source of trouble is old age. After 10 years, the continuous expanding and contracting of the heat exchanger starts to make the metal more brittle. After 15-20 years, the metal will crack or snap, and the seal on the combustion chamber will be broken. This can potentially lead to carbon monoxide poisoning if there are also combustion issues. A professional from Aire One, a heating and cooling company operating in Ontario can tell you if there are signs of cracks.

How to Take Care of a Furnace Heat Exchanger

The first thing you should do is know when you need to replace your exchanger. When your exchanger reaches the 15-year mark, ask your technician about replacing it during your annual furnace tune-up. During your tune-up, the technician will examine the exchanger to see if it’s in working order. If not, don’t replace it yourself. If it isn’t installed by a professional, it could be scratched or cracked before you even use your furnace once.

Ultimately, it’s up to a licensed HVAC technician from a reputable heating and cooling company such as Aire One to determine your furnace heat exchanger’s condition. Contact us today to schedule a furnace tune-up and exchanger inspection.

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