Cracked Heat Exchangers Spell Big Danger

Winter is almost here and the weather is getting cooler. For many of us, that means it’s time to fire up the furnace and start heating our houses. But before doing so, make absolutely sure that your furnace is in good condition.

What is a heat exchanger?

A heat exchanger is an integral part of an oil or gas-burning furnace. When fossil fuels (including oil, gas, and propane) combust, they emit poisonous gasses, including carbon monoxide. Heat exchangers contain these gasses, and filter them out of your house through your chimney, keeping them separated from the air that you breathe. So you get the benefits of a warm home – without the harmful fumes.

Of course, in order for a heat exchanger to work properly, it has to be air tight – if it contains any cracks or holes, dangerous fumes can seep into the air you breathe, contaminating it and making you very sick. Carbon monoxide poisoning, if profound enough, can be fatal.

What causes cracked heat exchangers?
Certain factors can contribute to cracked heat exchangers. These include overheating, poor installation, lack of proper maintenance, or simply faulty equipment. But even if you have the highest quality furnace and are careful to have it inspected and maintained on a regular basis, your heat exchanger will eventually “wear out”, because no machinery lasts forever.

How can you protect yourself?

To safeguard yourself and your family from this silent threat, be vigilant about having your furnace inspected on a regular basis. While it’s never a bad idea to keep an eye on things yourself from time to time, a job of this importance should be entrusted to an expert; a reliable, professional contractor will use advanced methods of heat exchanger inspection that go well beyond just using a mirror and a flashlight.

Contact us at SSI today to schedule a furnace inspection, just in time for the winter chill!

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