Approved Comfort recently performed a furnace service call that we wanted to talk about with you, since it was such a perfect instance of a common furnace issue requiring repair (and often times replacement). The issue we’re talking about here is known as a cracked heat exchanger.

Basically, the Approved Comfort technician arrived at this particular Lake in the Hills home and found a 13-year-old Carrier furnace flashing a “code 33” failure signal, meaning that the pressure switch had failed. Upon resetting the switch, the inductor motor would not start, so the tech had to jump the unit. When the motor did come on, the tech noticed a number of warning signs:

  • Grinding in the Unit
  • Loud Noises
  • Yellow Flames on Pilot Light

These problems indicated to the technicians that the unit had a crack in the heat exchanger. This type of repair can be expensive, and most furnaces only have an expected lifespan of 10 to 15 years anyway, so the technician strongly recommended that the customer replace the unit. They agreed.

Now the customer will be getting a brand new high efficiency furnace installed by the best service professionals in the industry. The Approved Comfort HVAC technicians are highly skilled, well-trained, and licensed to perform furnace installation and furnace replacement, so they’re sure to get a quality product from a trusted manufacturer (like Carrier) with a flexible warranty…but why did the technician recommend replacement rather than a simple repair?

What Does a Crack in the Heat Exchanger Mean?

The heat exchanger is the part of your furnace that transfers heat from the pilot flame to the air that is then distributed throughout your home via the ventilation. It’s essentially just a metal cell or tube designed to remove heat from one matter to another. But when that part of your machine breaks, your best option is often simply replacement. Why?

For two reasons:

  • Age– Typically, heat exchanges break at the end of your furnace’s lifespan. The device will probably start to experience inefficiency and deliver poor temperature control regardless, particularly if it’s upwards of 5 years old. You’re better off upgrading to a more advanced modern device than performing the part repair just to have another breakdown.
  • Safety– Cracked heat exchangers have been linked to carbon monoxide risks. CO is a poisonous “byproduct” gas that results from incomplete combustion. It’s difficult to say whether carbon monoxide results directly from the heat exchanger being cracked or from other issues with the furnace that have not manifested themselves as clearly, but it’s not worth taking the risk.

Call Approved Comfort for professional furnace replacement or installation today. Get through the rest of the winter with complete comfort and peace of mind, and enjoy reliable, safe heat from your new furnace for many years to come!