Cleveland HVAC Blog

Cracked Heat Exchangers Cause A Lot Of Problems, Here's How To Avoid It With A Service Agreement

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Wed, Nov 09, 2011 @ 03:49 PM
Avoid Problems With Heat Exchangers

The heat exchanger is where your system takes the energy created from burning fuel and transfers it to the air that will be pumped through your house. Because heat exchangers are constantly getting very warm and very cool in an ongoing cycle, the metal components are constantly expanding and contracting. While this level of stress is what heat exchangers are designed for, they do have their limits. Preventive maintenance performed twice a year as part of a service agreement helps keep them functioning efficiently and safely.

A cracked heat exchanger is one of the more common problems, often occurring as a result of a clogged air filter. When your air filter is clogged, a thick mat of dirt reduces the amount of air that flows through your system. The heat exchanger gets very hot as a matter of course, and if there is not enough air flowing through to mitigate that heat, the metal eventually expands beyond what it can tolerate and cracks.

A cracked heat exchanger puts you in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Simply checking your air filter monthly and having equipment maintained as part of a service agreement can go a long way toward ensuring the efficient operation of your system and a healthy living environment for your family.


A planned service agreement helps your technician care for your heat exchanger in several ways. Typically, your technician will:

  • Check and change the air filter.
  • Check the high limit temperature sensor (on gas furnaces) that shuts down the equipment if it senses dangerous temperatures. Often this sensor may allow the system to cycle back on when the temperature stabilizes. This causes short, inefficient cycles that fail to keep you comfortable. Also, if the sensor trips too many times it may wear out and stop functioning and then you can be at risk for more serious problems.
  • Clean your system to remove dust and debris that can restrict airflow.
  • Gauge temperatures on both sides of the exchanger.

To learn more about how a service agreement can keep your system safe and efficient, call P.K. Wadsworth. We’re happy to serve Greater Cleveland!

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Topics: hvac, carbon monoxide, heat exchanger, hvac preventive maintenance

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Welcome! Read our latest posts or explore the archives. You’ll find tips for how to maintain your HVAC equipment to discussions about indoor air quality, conserving energy and saving money, and information about emerging technologies in heating and air conditioning. Bookmark our blog.

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