Operating a boiler or furnace with a cracked heat exchanger can be a serious risk. While regular HVAC maintenance from a qualified contractor will catch cracks and other problems with your heating and cooling every 6 months or year, problems can still develop between that time. That’s why it’s important for you to be able to spot signs of cracking throughout the year. We’ve listed 4 main signs that your heat exchanger might be cracked:
- Sediment or soot buildup. Foreign material in your boiler or furnace can prevent the proper combustion of fuel, causing major damage to the unit or the production of carbon monoxide. This kind of buildup can be the result of a significant crack, so hiring a HVAC professional to fix the problem if you spot soot in your unit is crucial.
- Abnormal carbon monoxide levels. First, ensure that your home has properly placed carbon monoxide detectors in all necessary areas. If the detector ever goes off, your local fire department needs to be called right away. One of the most common culprits of excess carbon monoxide is a crack in the heat exchanger.
- A clean and blue flame. The flame on a boiler or furnace should burn consistently. A dancing or intermittent flame can be a serious sign of cracking in the heat exchanger. A yellow or orange color to the flame can mean the fuel is dirty which is also the sign of cracking.
- Rusty surfaces and components. Metal exposed to oxygen and water can lead to rusting and cracking. This can happen to the outside of your variable-speed furnace and boiler as well as the internal components. If you notice rusting, you’ll need a reliable HVAC contractor to tell if your unit can be fixed or needs replacing.
For more information about your heating system or other components of your HVAC system, contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling today. We’ve been helping clients in and around the Portland area with their HVAC needs since 1976.