Is Ignoring Furnace Repairs a Safety Hazard?

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furnace system venting outdoorsIf we’re talking about damaged ductwork or a loose component that needs adjusting, then no, you aren’t in any danger—although we can’t say the same for your heating system, as even the smallest problem can grow into a bigger one if left ignored for too long. Hopefully, you had maintenance performed before winter began, to ensure that your system was fully inspected, adjusted, and cleaned to enable peak performance. If so, you likely have nothing to worry about. There is, however, one Andover, MN furnace repair that should never be ignored, and that you’re at risk of experiencing if your gas-powered furnace isn’t properly cared for. And that’s a cracked heat exchanger.

Beware This Furnace Hazard

First off, what is a heat exchanger? It’s the metal chamber in the furnace that heats up from combustion gas, and then transfers that heat to the air passing through the furnace cabinet. It is essentially where the actual heating process of a furnace occurs. The exhaust gas within the heat exchanger is toxic to us, but your furnace—when properly installed and serviced—vents it safely away through a flue and out of the home. However, if cracks form in the heat exchanger, these harmful gases can escape as the metal expands from the heat. The gases will enter the air that’s being blown throughout the rest of your home, creating a health and safety hazard for you and your family. Generally speaking, cracks in the heat exchanger only happen in aging furnaces. This is enough time for corrosion to set in from the chemical reaction of the metal of the heat exchanger, and the combustion gases. Therefore, no matter how well cared for your heating system is, we do recommend considering a replacement system once your furnace has reached 15 years of age. Any sign of corrosion at all on your furnace is reason enough to call for inspection and repairs. Aside from corrosion, another sign of a cracked heat exchanger is clicking sounds from the furnace after the blower fan shuts off.

Schedule Routine Maintenance

Let’s talk some more about caring for your furnace—the best way to prevent danger from a cracked heat exchanger, keep your furnace working efficiently for as long as possible, keep the heating system clean, and prevent other big repair needs or premature replacement, is to schedule maintenance once a year. Typically, this appointment should be scheduled before your heater’s biggest period of use—winter. But if you haven’t scheduled a tune up in over a year, then it’s better to have it done now than not at all, whether or not it's the end of the season. This is the sure way to protect your furnace system and your household. If you did have maintenance done this year, but are still concerned about the dangers of a cracked heat exchanger, or have found that your furnace is making some strange noises you’ve never heard before, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re here for all your heating needs—even if you only suspect your furnace isn’t heating as efficiently as it once was, we can inspect and see what the solution would be for you.

For quality heating services, contact Air Mechanical, Inc. today.

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