What is the Heat Exchanger in My Furnace?

The heart and soul of your furnace is the heat exchanger. It’s the largest component and the one most often ignored.

The job of the heat exchanger is to release warm air into your home while safely venting fossil fuel byproducts (like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide) outdoors.

A gas furnace, for instance, has a heat exchanger that warms air through an ignition process. An electric furnace uses heated coils to warm air. The blower sends air over the heat exchanger, warming it and then distributing it throughout your home via your air ducts.

In the process of generating heat, the internal metal of a heat exchanger expands and contracts. After doing its job for years on end, a heat exchanger can develop crack and leak carbon monoxide into your home, creating an unsafe condition.

That alone is reason enough to have your furnace inspected every year by the heating pros at Anthony’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.  A key part of our inspection is examining the heat exchanger of signs of trouble. Early detection leads to timely and accurate solutions before problems can arise.

Still, what if a problem occurs with your heat exchanger in between annual inspections?  Here are four clear warning signs:

Changes in the flame. Check the flame at the burner from time to time. If the flame is blue and steady, the furnace is functioning properly. If the flame appears to jump and dance, or has an orange or yellow color, heat exchanger cracks or separations may have developed.

Soot buildup. A black sooty residue inside the furnace, or even the heat exchanger itself, is another warning sign.

The carbon monoxide detector goes off. If you don’t already have carbon monoxide detectors, you need them to help ensure your family’s well-being. Because when a detector goes off, you want to know right away. If the alarm sounds, exit the house immediately and call the local fire department from a safe location.

Has it been a year or longer since you’ve had your furnace cleaned and inspected? If so, contact Anthony’s today for prompt and reliable service and your added peace of mind.

 

What is the Heat Exchanger in My Furnace?