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Serving The Greater Fresno Area Since 1970

Serving The Greater Fresno Area Since 1970


Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning Blog

The Danger of a Cracked Heat Exchanger


It is common knowledge that there is more than one repair need that can pop up for your furnace. The biggest thing to remember is that you should always get repairs on your heater taken care of as soon as possible.

There is one repair that we want to single out though. This is a crack in your heat exchanger. While every repair needs prompt service, a cracked heat exchanger is one of the more dangerous issues that can happen to your system. Read on to learn why it’s so important to address it.

If your system develops a crack in the heat exchanger, you will want to schedule a furnace repair in Fresno, CA as soon as possible. Here’s why.

What a Heat Exchanger Is Supposed to Do

A gas furnace burns natural gas creating combustion gases that fill up your heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is metal and will heat up as the combustion gases enter it. Air is passed over the heat exchanger which heats up the air that is then blown into your house.

Why a Cracked Heat Exchanger Is a Problem

When your furnace’s heat exchanger develops a crack, it is a two-fold problem.

One issue this creates is that it will reduce the amount of heat that your system is able to produce. More fuel will get used and your furnace will run for longer, leading to increased energy bills even though the comfort level never improves.

Another issue that results from a cracked heat exchanger is that it will allow combustion gas to leak into the air that enters your home. While a small amount of gas won’t be harmful, the longer this issue goes on, the more dangerous it gets.

The Indicators of a Cracked Heat Exchanger

The sooner you call our team to fix the issue with your heat exchanger the better off you’ll be. Make sure to keep alert for these warning signs:

  • Hissing sounds: If your furnace is hissing and you know that you have a clean filter in place, there is a chance that the noise is being created by gas leaking out through a crack in the heat exchanger.
  • Reduced heating: A cracked heat exchanger lets hot combustion gases escape the system, making it harder to heat the air.
  • Sulfur or rotten egg smells: Gas doesn’t have a scent, making leaks more dangerous. Thankfully, modern gas providers add a chemical to the gas supply that creates the distinct sulfur or rotten egg smell that we recognize as the smell of gas. If you smell this while your furnace is running, it is worth checking the system.
  • High energy bills: If your furnace is losing combustion gases through a leak, it will impact your energy bills as the system has to work harder to heat the home.

If you suspect your furnace has a repair need, make sure to reach out to Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning for service.

Contact us today. We strive to provide honest answers and solutions to the problems our customers experience while remaining highly competitive in price and offering the fastest turnaround you can find! 

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