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This Furnace Problem Means Carbon Monoxide is Leaking into Your Home

If you have a gas furnace, carbon monoxide leaks are always a concern. You should install carbon monoxide detectors in your home when you have gas lines whether you have gas appliances or not but especially when you do. A carbon monoxide leak means that it’s time to schedule furnace repair in Crystal Lake, IL.

A common reason for carbon monoxide leaks with a gas heater is for the heat exchanger to be cracked. You can keep reading to learn more about why a cracked heat exchanger is such a big problem and what to do about it. Anytime you need heater service – even just a checkup – give our team a call to schedule an appointment.

What Does a Heat Exchanger Do?

The heat exchanger is where the flame ignites to combust gas entering the chamber to create the process of producing heat to blow into your home. The heat exchanger must be completely airtight to prevent carbon monoxide from leaking out into your home. 

The heat exchanger has three different channels of air. Heat comes into the heat exchanger and then leaves in one of two ways. Clean, heated air blows into your home, while exhaust blows outside of your home. If there is a leak and this exhaust air mixes with clean air, it can be very harmful for your family’s health in addition to posing fire hazards.

Significance of Heat Exchanger Cracks

Even the tiniest crack in a furnace’s heat exchanger can lead to serious problems. Even seemingly minor cracks can allow a dangerous amount of carbon monoxide to leak out. The even bigger problem with a cracked heat exchanger is that damage cannot be repaired. Once the crack develops, you cannot make any repairs to fix it. Instead, the entire heater has to be replaced.

Risks of Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Unfortunately, the gas leading into your furnace does not have an odor or color. Identifying a carbon monoxide leak can be very difficult, making it very important to have carbon monoxide detectors installed strategically around your home. If you don’t already have the detectors, let us know and we can help with those too.

Secondary Heat Exchangers and Flame Rollout Risks

There’s another problem you could run into: your secondary heat exchanger. This receives heat exhaust from the primary heat exchanger, and plays a pivotal role in how your furnace handles carbon monoxide. We’ve run into issues during routine maintenance where we find that the secondary heat exchanger has begun to rot.

This is dangerous because it can not only lead to another area where carbon monoxide can leak from your furnace into your home’s air supply, but it can result in flame rollout. That’s when flames exit the chamber of your furnace, which is a major fire hazard. This results in the entire heat exchanger being replaced, or in some cases, it may require the full furnace to be replaced instead.

Let’s Help You Out

If a carbon monoxide leak goes undetected, it could make your family very sick. In extremely high amounts, carbon monoxide is also considered lethal. Aside from the risks to your family, carbon monoxide or supposes fire hazards since gas is leaking out into your home.

Contact Althoff Home Services today to schedule an appointment with our professionals. Chicago’s Choice Since 1961. Hand It Off to Althoff!

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