Signs Your Heat Exchanger May Be Cracked On Your Gas Furnace

Experts recommend that your home’s heating system should receive maintenance via regular heating services from a reputable HVAC contractor. This way, problems are kept at bay, especially cracked heat exchanger issues. If you experience this in your heating system, you will notice several signs that suggest this problem. This article discusses all you need to know about heat exchangers, including their importance and how to know if this component is cracked.

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What Is A Heat Exchanger?

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The heating system’s heat exchanger transfers the heat between fluids for heating or cooling a home or other structures. A heat exchanger in a heater heats the air traveling via the vent system. Combustible gas causes increased temperature, which accumulates in the heat exchanger so that the air temperature can also increase. If your heat exchanger becomes cracked, your heating system’s performance is severely affected.

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Signs Your Furnace Has A Cracked Heat Exchanger

Here are some signs of a cracked heat exchanger:

  • Change In Flame’s Appearance: The flame of a gas furnace normally appears blue. This suggests a heating system in good working condition. However, a yellow flame may mean that the burner requires cleaning. Even worse, you may have a cracked heat exchanger. Heating systems typically generate a steadily-burning flame. A flickering flame suggests possible problems with the heating system.
  • Strange Furnace Odors: Cracked heat exchangers mean your heating unit may generate a strange and foul odor, much like formaldehyde. It may negatively impact your health and cause severe headaches. Call a licensed HVAC technician immediately if you smell strange odors from your heating system so they can be checked.
  • Soot: Carbon buildup in the furnace’s interior results in soot. It happens because the unit doesn’t burn entirely and cleanly because of a burner that’s improperly adjusted or a cracked heat exchanger.
  • Corrosion And Cracks On The Components: Check the heating system’s external parts for any cracks and rust. A physical issue in your system’s external components can also point to damage in the internal components.
  • Health Issues: Carbon monoxide from your furnace can result in you and your family often feeling health symptoms, including flu-like symptoms, eye and nose irritations, nausea, fatigue, and disorientation. You may notice that you only feel these symptoms at home.


Why Do Heat Exchangers Crack?

Overheating is one of the most likely reasons you have a cracked heat exchanger. Insufficient airflow, which frequently happens because of lack of maintenance, causes overheating. The air filter in the system traps pollutants like dust and dirt. It can become clogged over time, and the blowers and coils can also become clogged. This airflow blockage means the air needed for temperature maintenance in the system becomes insufficient. This air also absorbs excess heat. Without proper airflow, there will be increased internal temperatures. In turn, there are higher chances for the heat exchanger to crack.

Cracked heat exchangers can also happen if the control valves are worn out. When this occurs, the changes in the pressure level may be too much for the heat exchanger to handle. Therefore, you must have your heating system regularly inspected to identify potential problems immediately.

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The Problem With A Cracked Heat Exchanger

The symptoms a cracked heat exchanger brings aren’t just inconvenient to homeowners. They also pose a real threat to your safety and home. Many homeowners have heating systems powered with fuel oil, natural gas, or propane. These are all fossil fuels, and they emit fumes when burned. Fumes have carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, soot, and water vapor. If these toxic gasses have increased levels, you and your family may experience severe health issues.

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Solutions For A Cracked Heat Exchanger

If you suspect that you have a cracked heat exchanger, do not conduct a DIY check and repair. This issue requires either a component replacement or a complete system replacement. Both solutions require some serious considerations. A professional HVAC technician will conduct thorough inspections and tests on your heating system to find the problem at the root. This way, they can provide the best possible recommendation for solving the problem. They will also guide you on what to do and how to care for your heating system.



Cracked heat exchangers can cause severe damage to heating systems. It can also be a hazard to your family’s health. Fortunately, it is a preventable problem. Good care and regular HVAC tune-ups will result in a heat exchanger that’s operational and of good service for a long time. Make sure that you call your local, trusted HVAC technician for any concerns you have with your heater. They can help you find solutions and provide you with preventative methods. After all, taking better care of your system leads to a longer system lifespan.

Tevis Energy’s sister company, Modern Comfort, performs HVAC installations, replacements, tune-ups, and more. Our technicians can provide you with expert HVAC services to ensure that your system provides you with the comfort and efficiency you deserve. Call now to schedule an appointment.

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Call Tevis Energy For All Of Your Home Heating Needs

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For all of your heating and cooling service needs in the area, do not hesitate to call Tevis Energy. We have the best professionally certified HVAC technicians on staff. They can conduct superior cooling and heating maintenance, installations, repairs, and replacements. Each of our friendly techs has the experience, skills, and knowledge to ensure accurate HVAC system services all the time.

Need to repair or replace your heating system? No worries. Tevis Energy provides you with superior services. Rest assured, we offer highly affordable furnace repair and replacement rates in the area. We can recommend the best replacement system for your home within your budget if you need to replace your current unit. Our priority is your home’s comfort, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and more. Be sure to call us today to schedule an appointment. We offer free, in-home estimates. Click here to view our service area.

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