5 signs something is wrong with your furnace heat exchanger

Winter is right around the corner. Here in Buffalo and Western New York, your home is relying on your furnace to keep it comfortable and safe. In turn, your furnace relies on its furnace heat exchanger. Any problems there, and you’re not just without heat—you could actually be in danger!

What is the furnace heat exchanger, exactly?

The heat exchanger is the part of the furnace that separates breathable air and the combustion chamber from one another. The exchanger is made from a thin metal that allows it to transfer heat throughout the house. If it is damaged, the gases and the fumes from the combustion process mix with the clean air. Not good!

What are the signs of problems with the furnace heat exchanger?

Here are five signs that you need to call Reimer for furnace repair here in Buffalo:

furnace heat exchanger

Sign #1: You see soot

If the furnace has a soot buildup inside of it, then chances are that the heat exchange is damaged. This is a sign that the burner is not burning properly and needs to be fixed. The cause can be anything from tilted burners to cracks in the heat exchange itself.

Sign #2: You see cracks or damage

If other parts of the furnace show wear-and-tear, chances are the internal components have similar damages. Cracks due to machine stress are not uncommon and are actually inevitable over time.

Rapidly heating and cooling metal causes expansion and contraction, which causes damage to metal over time. The heat exchanger can also corrode with time due to constant exposure to the fumes and chloride.

When you spot these cracks or damage, call Reimer immediately for 24/7 emergency repair.

Sign #3: You see a change in the flames

A fully functional gas furnace should generate a steady blue flame. If the flame seems yellowish in color or erratic, the heat exchanger may be damaged or the burner may be grungy. If the flame leans to one side once the fan is turned on, chances are you have a cracked exchanger on your hands.

Sign #4: You see discoloration and buildup

If the heat exchanger develops cracks, the metal will get discolored with the soot that builds up on it. The cracks will allow that deposit through, making the heat exchanger appear “sooty,” as discussed in the section above. The site of the crack should have a buildup as well, or there might be spots that are darker than the rest of the metal.

Sign #5: You detect carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide can be a byproduct of the combustion process in your furnace. It’s a colorless, odorless gas that can be fatal. This is why it’s important to address furnace heat exchanger problems before they turn into a major danger to your family and house.

In addition to keeping an eye on your furnace for signs #1-4, you should have a functioning carbon monoxide detector. If you suspect there’s a leak, evacuate and then call the fire department and Reimer for HVAC repair.

Contact Reimer for 24/7 emergency furnace heat exchanger repair

If you’ve been noticing that your furnace heat exchanger is exhibiting any of the five signs above, it’s time to call Reimer for 24/7 emergency furnace repair in Buffalo and Western New York. Our technicians will inspect your furnace and make sure it’s safe to use this winter. If not, we’ll address your repair needs.

To contact Reimer for service, give us a call at (716) 694-8524 or contact us online. And remember: dealing with your furnace heat exchanger sooner than later can save your furnace and keep your home heated and comfortable.

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