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HVAC systems in Manassas, VA, have a heat exchanger that warms the air after the burners generate heat. It does this by passing the exhaust gases through tubes in the exchanger on its way to your flue. Here are four ways to detect a cracked heat exchanger, which can wreak havoc with your HVAC system and endanger your health.

Water On the Floor Around the Furnace

Water pooling around your furnace should always be a cause for concern. A cracked heat exchanger is one major possible cause, while a clogged condensate drain is another. As the exhaust circulates through the heat exchanger and cools, it causes condensation.

If the heat exchanger develops a crack, more of that condensation will leak and pool. During a regular furnace maintenance visit, a service technician won’t only inspect your heat exchanger but also ensure your condensate line is still draining properly.

Strong Chemical Smell

Your furnace should run without emitting much odor. You may notice a faint burning odor when you first light it for the season if it wasn’t serviced. However, if you smell a strong chemical odor as your furnace runs, this indicates that your heat exchanger may have a crack.

The Flame Looks Yellow

When your furnace runs properly, the flame at the burner should burn blue. A yellow flame indicates the presence of something unusual in the burn chamber, such as dirt or dust on the burner. However, it can also indicate a cracked heat exchanger.

It Produces a Lot of Soot

As your furnace burns gas, it’ll produce carbon, which is the primary component of the black soot. When everything is working properly, that goes through the heat exchanger and out through the flue. However, if your heat exchanger has a crack, it’ll allow that carbon to leak out and start collecting in and on your furnace.

If you suspect a crack in your heat exchanger, call Brennan’s Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll schedule your heating system repair right away.

Image provided by iStock

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