Cracked Fire Box or Heat Exchanger…What Does That Mean?
Pretend for a moment that you just had a technician to your home to thoroughly check out your entire system. In checking the furnace the technician finds a crack in your heat exchanger…sometimes called the fire box. What does that mean to you?
First and foremost it means you should not use your furnace until the situation is rectified. In fact when we find a cracked heat exchanger we are required to red tag it. The red tag indicates that your furnace is dangerous to use…so much so continued use could cause death.
Here’s why. Think of your furnace as having two types of air. Supply air and combustion air. Supply air is the air that is drawn into the return register, goes through the furnace filter system travels through the ducts and exits out the supply register into each of the rooms in your house…warming the rooms.
In order to get warm air, natural gas or propane fires off at the burners. It heats a metal chamber above it and the waste product of that combustion, carbon monoxide exits through the flu. As the heat exchanger heats up from the burners, there is a heat transfer from the metal to the supply air as it travels past the heat exchanger. If a crack in the heat exchanger occurs, then it becomes possible for the carbon monoxide to seep into the supply air system. The deadly carbon monoxide (remember from the last blog it is odorless and tasteless) is distributed throughout the home via the duct system.
In order to keep our customers safe, we send our technicians to outside training. This outside training is conducted by one of the foremost recognized experts in our industry.
Some people use the utility company to perform a yearly check. There are times when they contradict our diagnosis. Our promise to you is if that ever happens, we will meet the utility’s technician at the home and show him the crack using state of the art camera technology.
We urge you…don’t just accept their word. Please give us a call. We will prove it to you and them. Every time we have been given the chance to prove it, we have.