A cracked heat exchanger is one of the most dangerous things that can go wrong with your furnace because it allows carbon monoxide to be released into your home’s air. If carbon monoxide levels get too high in your home, your family can become ill and in severe cases, it can be fatal. When many homeowners hear about the dangers of cracked heat exchangers, they wonder what they can do to prevent the problem from happening in the first place. Today we’re going to help you do just that by talking about how to prevent a cracked heat exchanger in your furnace

How do heat exchangers develop cracks?

Before you learn about how to prevent a cracked heat exchanger, it’s useful to know how those cracks develop in the first place. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Normal wear and tear. Your heat exchanger heats up and cools down during every heating cycle, and your home goes through many heating cycles throughout the day. Every time that the heat exchanger heats up and cools down, its metal walls expand and contract. Over time, this repeated expanding and contracting will create cracks in the heat exchanger’s walls.
  • Dirty air filters. A dirty air filter blocks the airflow to your furnace. This limits the amount of air that is blown over the heat exchanger, which will cause it to overheat. If this happens too often, it can cause cracks to develop in your heat exchanger.
  • Closed or blocked vents. If the supply and/or return vents in your home are closed or obstructed, it will create airflow problems in your furnace that will cause heat exchanger cracks for the same reason that a dirty air filter does.
  • Low quality installations and repairs. A heat exchanger is much more likely to crack if your furnace was installed or repaired by a low-quality contractor.

How can you prevent a cracked heat exchanger?

  • Schedule annual furnace tune-ups. Even if you take great care of your furnace, heat exchanger cracks can develop over time. During annual tune-ups, we’ll inspect your heat exchanger for cracks and take care of small cracks before they become larger issues. In addition, scheduling annual tune-ups will prevent problems that are known to lead to heat exchanger cracks.
  • Consistently change your air filter. By always keeping a fresh filter installed in your furnace, you will prevent major airflow issues that would otherwise cause your heat exchanger to overheat and crack.
  • Keep vents open and clear. Make sure that all of the supply and return vents in your home are completely open and clear of any obstructions such as furniture or other large objects. This is another way that you can prevent airflow issues that would otherwise cause heat exchanger cracks.
  • Only work with a trusted, high-quality contractor. Working with a high-quality contractor like Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning will ensure that your furnace installations and repairs are done correctly and in a way that won’t hinder the performance of your heat exchanger. In addition, we are experts at finding and fixing heat exchanger cracks, so you can trust that your system will always run safely after we perform any work on it.
  • If you have any questions about how to prevent a cracked heat exchanger, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Charles, MO, furnace installation and repair contractor. We provide service all over the St. Louis area, including towns like Ballwin, Chesterfield, and Clarkson Valley, MO.

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