A furnace is a great option for heating your Lake County home, but it can become dangerous if neglected. In particular, heat exchanger problems may allow hazardous combustion byproducts, including carbon monoxide, to enter your living space. For your safety, it’s important to understand the signs of a failing heat exchanger.
Visible Damage or Corrosion
As a heat exchanger repeatedly heats up and cools down, it goes through cycles of expansion and contraction. This stresses the metal, eventually causing it to crack. Moisture produced during the combustion process can also corrode the metal, causing further weakening. This kind of excessive wear and tear is especially common with furnaces that are prone to overheating. To check for such damage, simply inspect your heat exchanger and look for any signs of visible wear, cracks, or corrosion.
Changes in Flame Appearance
A healthy furnace should always burn with a strong, steady blue flame. If the flame is yellow or orange, and especially if it flickers, something inside your furnace is preventing proper combustion. This often indicates a dirty burner, but it can also be a sign of dangerous heat exchanger problems. Another clear sign of incomplete combustion is soot deposits on the interior surfaces of your system.
Strange Odors or Unexplained Health Effects
When a heat exchanger fails, you can often smell the resulting fumes entering your home. The acrid, pungent odor is often said to smell like formaldehyde, which some people compare to the scent of pickles. Carbon monoxide, however, is entirely odorless. In many cases, homeowners only become aware of carbon monoxide leaks when they become ill. Common symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. To ensure you’re protected, install carbon monoxide detectors in your home and be sure to test them regularly.
Don’t let heat exchanger problems ruin your comfort or put your family’s well-being at risk. If you suspect a problem, call Herchenbach Mechanical Inc for fast and affordable professional furnace services throughout Lake County.