During a routine maintenance on a 12 year old furnace, we found cracks in the heat exchanger. Inside the heat exchanger is where the combustion process takes place. When there are cracks or holes in heat exchangers, Carbon Monoxide will go into your home. Carbon Monoxide is fatal and is also known as the “silent killer.”
What causes a heat exchanger to crack? Heat exchangers are forced to undergo extremely high temperatures, and as they heat up and cool down over the course of a heating cycle, the metal expands and contracts. This puts a lot of stress on the heat exchanger and can cause cracking and holes to form. Overly high gas pressure can cause too much heat and can breach the heat exchanger. The most common issue that can occur, is when a company undersizes the ductwork. Undersizing ductwork can result in too little airflow to the system and can cause overheating.
Routine maintenance can detect and find these problems as well as prevent them. As a precaution, a Carbon Monoxide Detector should be 5 feet away from the furnace.