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Why Is the Heat Exchanger Broken in My Durham, NC Home?

February 10, 2021

Furnaces are known for their durability, longevity and effective heating. If you noticed a lack of heat in your Durham, NC, home, a cracked heat exchanger could be to blame. The heat exchanger is a critical part, and your furnace won’t deliver heat without it. If you have a broken heat exchanger, our furnace repair technicians recommend turning off the furnace and calling for emergency heating services.

Dirty Air Filter

The top reason why heat exchangers break is a dirty air filter. Clogged filters impede airflow. If there’s no cool air to absorb the heat produced by the heat exchanger, the exchanger will overheat. Overheating causes the heat exchanger to crack. According to the Department of Energy, you should check the air filter monthly, replace it every one to three months and schedule an annual safety inspection of the heat exchanger and other furnace components.

Oversized Furnace

It might seem like a good idea to install an oversized furnace with a high capacity for heating. However, a furnace with too much capacity will heat a small home so quickly that the thermostat will trigger it to shut off after a few minutes. The exchanger will stay too hot, and the condensation won’t be able to evaporate. It will rust or crack, which requires attention from our heating services technicians.

Frequent Cycling

A furnace with excess or insufficient capacity may perform short, frequent heating cycles. These frequent cycles cause excessive expansion and contraction of the metal in the heat exchanger. The extra stress will cause the heat exchanger to crack and break. A cracked heat exchanger will typically cause the furnace’s flame to flicker or turn yellow. It can also set off your home’s carbon monoxide detector. Cracked heat exchangers are dangerous and must be replaced.

For more details about the causes of broken heat exchangers, take a look at Cape Fear Air Conditioning, Heating, & Electrical Company, Inc.’s furnace repair services, or get in touch with us today.

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