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Cracked Heat Exchanger Dangers

Natural gas furnaces are the most common type of residential heating systems in the country. While they are not dangerous in nature, any natural gas appliance has the ability to develop safety issues like toxic gas leaks and combustion problems.

To avoid problems such as a cracked heating exchanger, it's best to have your HVAC regularly maintnanced .

What is a Heat Exchanger? It's the component that applies heat to the air in which the blower fan sends into the ventilation system that travels throughout your home. Its clam-shell shaped metal chamber is where hot combustion gas from the burners collects.

What Causes a Crack? Heat exchangers undergo a large amount of strain from the metal expanding and contracting as it heats and cools. Overtime, the metal weakens and corrosion will happen to the point where a crack will form that can be virtually invisible. This is more common in older furnaces or furnaces that aren't maintained.

These cracks allow harmful gas, such as carbon monoxide, to leak into your home. When exposed to too much of it, you may experience nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and even death. To protect yourself, install carbon monoxide detectors inside the home.

One thing you should listen for is a clicking sound coming from the furnace as soon as the blower shuts off. This should always be investigated by a pro. For more information or to schedule your regular maintenance, call 72 Degrees Comfort Company at 515-965-7272 or email us at

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