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    A Cracked Heat Exchanger Can Be More Dangerous Than You Think

    It should go without saying, but gas furnaces should be checked over regularly for one major reason, and a lot of smaller ones as well. Gas is potentially lethal in the home and every effort needs to be taken to ensure that any gas-fired appliances are in safe working order.

    Now, there’s no need to panic or feel threatened. Today’s gar-fired appliances have a multitude of inbuilt safety features and if you buy a reputable brand, you get quality materials that will last a long time. However, regular maintenance of, say, your home furnace, will guarantee your safety, while also reducing your running costs and lengthening its life span. Regularly maintained furnaces are more efficient and regular maintenance makes sure things don’t break before they should.

    Where your heat exchanger is so critical is that this is the part of your HVAC furnace that gets the most punishment, as it is the meeting point that separates burning gas from the air in your home. As the name implies, the heat exchanger is heated by the burning gas, and the exchanger then warms the air that is then circulated throughout your home.

    Now, every time your furnace fires up, the heat exchanger will heat up and expand. When the gas switches off, the exchanger cools down and contracts, and so the process repeats itself. However, eventually, this constant expansion and contraction of the heat exchanger can lead to small, hairline cracks that are not visible to the naked eye when cold, but when heated, they open sufficiently to allow exhaust fumes from the burnt gas to pass through and into the warm air that circulates throughout your home.

    The danger here is that this exhaust gas from the burner is carbon monoxide, which can be a killer. It works by slowly suffocating you from the inside out as it is easily absorbed into the bloodstream, but unlike oxygen, it is not burned and then expelled. Instead, it clogs up the blood in your body, making it more and more difficult for you to absorb oxygen, and if the process is not stopped, eventually you will die from carbon monoxide poisoning as your body becomes unable to absorb any oxygen you breathe in.

    Fortunately, the symptoms of the onset of carbon monoxide poisoning are reasonably easy to spot and include lethargy and tiredness, nausea and feeling lightheaded. If you experience any of these, shut down your furnace immediately and open the windows and doors to let fresh air into your home. Then call a qualified heating engineer to come out and inspect your furnace.

    Here at A&E our highly skilled heating engineers are trained to spot early signs of fatigue in heat exchangers and know when to recommend one be changed, before it can become dangerous, and inspecting your heat exchanger is the most important aspect of any regular maintenance agreement or contract.

    When you consider a regular maintenance contract will help lower your heating costs, extend the life of your furnace, and potentially save your life, in the long run they are not that costly. So, why not give us a call here at A&E Air Conditioning and Heating and we’ll be happy to come out, inspect your furnace and run you through the costs of a regular maintenance contract. We reckon you’ll be surprised just what good value one is.


    **A&E Air Conditioning & Heating is a full service HVAC company providing Air Conditioning and Heating installation and repair services in San Antonio, Bulverde, New Braunfels, Boerne, Buda, Kyle and surrounding areas.