Furnace Problem: Cracked Heat Exchanger

cracked heat exchanger

The temperature continues to drop in Ottawa and furnaces are running overtime to keep homes warm. The longer heating systems are in use, the more likely it is for people to experience some kind of furnace problem that requires repair. Sometimes, homeowners call for repair and are shocked to learn that they have a cracked heat exchanger. This is a serious and expensive breakdown and requires the furnace to be repaired or replaced.

Regulations Concerning Cracked Heat Exchangers
Every heating technician is responsible for ensuring that the furnace they are working on is running safely. Part of the Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code requires a technician to shut down any furnace that could cause injury to the occupants of the home. Most often, this happens when a heating specialist discovers a cracked heat exchanger.

Dangers of Cracked Heat Exchanger
The biggest danger from a cracked heat exchanger is the possibility of a carbon monoxide leak. This odourless, colourless toxic gas can enter your home through the cracks in the heat exchanger and pose a very serious safety concern to everyone living in the home.

Repair or Replace?
When a heat exchanger is cracked, the best course of action is to schedule a furnace replacement as it is often more economical to replace the whole system than try to replace or repair the heat exchanger. If an HVAC company tells you that they’ve found a crack in your heat exchanger, make sure to ask for a combustion test—it’s one of the best ways to confirm the crack.

If you have doubts about your heat exchanger, you can always get a second opinion from another HVAC company.

Contact us today to schedule a furnace inspection or if you’d like a second opinion on a diagnosed cracked heat exchanger — we’re always happy to help.

Team Harding is a locally owned and operated business serving the Ottawa region since 1994. We are a trusted heating and cooling provider to homeowners and new home construction builders for a reason— we’re fully committed to customer satisfaction, quality workmanship and fast, reliable service.

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Updated in December 2020 for clarity.

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