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About Damien

Damien McCusker, Manager of Arpi's residential service division, has been working in the HVAC industry for 16 years and has hands-on experience in new home installations, furnace and air conditioner replacements, sales and residential service. He spends most of his spare time being an UBER driver, driving his kids to soccer practice and games.

A Cracked Heat Exchanger: A Significant Hazard For Home Occupants

Phil Laprairie

One of the last things you want to deal with as a homeowner is a cracked heat exchanger. Not only is it dangerous, but it can mean replacement of your entire furnace. Let’s take a look at what this kind of damage can mean to your Calgary home.

Understanding the problem

The first thing you should know is what causes a cracked heat exchanger. Your furnace’s heat exchanger is a metal barrier that separates the air exiting the furnace from the heat produced by the burners. After years of heating and cooling, small cracks and holes can develop in the exchanger. Some of the hairline cracks can be extremely difficult to see.

Evaluating the problem

The aforementioned cracks can allow dangerous combustion materials to enter the air being distributed throughout your home. Once they’re in your air, these particles can cause severe respiratory issues. In some cases, carbon monoxide poisoning may even become an issue. For these reasons, it is imperative that you deal with a cracked heat exchanger right away.

Handling the problem

An HVAC technician can look for any fractures or holes in your furnace’s heat exchanger. If he finds cracks that are severe enough, he will “red-tag” the unit. This means that the furnace is simply not safe for operation. It also means that you must rectify the situation before the unit can be used again. Typically, you will need to switch out the damaged heat exchanger or replace the entire unit. The technician can give you a run-down of your options. Keep in mind, however, that even though a new exchanger is cheaper than an entire furnace, the age of your unit and high cost of the exchanger itself might mean that full replacement is the wiser choice.

If you would like further assistance with handling a cracked heat exchanger, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Arpi’s Industries, Ltd. Arpi’s uses camera probes that can access more of the heat exchanger’s area than a visual inspection. We have been serving the HVAC needs of Calgary and surrounding communities from Airdrie to Okotoks and Strathmore to Redwood Meadows for 50 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about cracked heat exchangers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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