Four Seasons has worked very hard to inform our customers of the dangers associated with having a furnace or boiler with a cracked heat exchanger operating in the home. Homeowners who have their heating system maintained yearly by Four Seasons receive a heat exchanger inspection along with their annual tune-up, but what if there is a crack between visits from your technician? As a proactive homeowner, you need to be able to recognize the symptoms of a cracked heat exchanger in order to protect your family. There are 4 main symptoms that any homeowner can check for periodically during the heating season:
- Abnormal Flame: As the furnace gets older, it becomes more and more likely that it will suffer a leak at the heat exchanger. From time to time, you may want to inspect the flame on the furnace or boiler. A proper flame should burn clean, steady, and blue. If the flame in your furnace “dances” or” jumps,” you may have a problem. Also if the flame is yellow or orange in color, cracks in the heat exchanger are also suspected.
- Soot Buildup: Soot buildup results from improper combustion, and this could be the result of a cracked heat exchanger. If this problem is suspected, you will notice black buildup on the internal components of the furnace or boiler or on or near the crack in the heat exchanger.
- High Carbon Monoxide Levels: It is critical that every home has a functional carbon monoxide detector installed close to the ground on every level of the home. If this detector goes off, call the fire department immediately to find the source of your carbon monoxide leak. The furnace or boiler is often the source because carbon monoxide is a byproduct of the combustion of natural gas. If the furnace or boiler is leaking carbon monoxide, it is usually due to a crack in the heat exchanger.
- Cracks/ Rust on Metal: If the furnace or boiler has been exposed to water or has developed rust or cracks in any of the metal components, you may want to have a professional inspection of the heat exchanger performed by one of the servicemen at Four Seasons. We train our technicians to properly search for a detect leaks, cracks, or rust on the heat exchanger, and if a major problem is suspected, they will be able to explain the proper mode of repair. Sometimes the problem can be repaired, but when the heat exchanger cracks, it is often best to replace the unit all together.
If you find any of these symptoms present on your unit, call Four Seasons as soon as possible! We will help you determine whether or not there is a major problem. If you act fast, the symptom may be repaired before a crack ever appears. Keep your family safe, and keep your furnace running. Call Four Seasons today!
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