This is a tricky question to answer, and it depends on the furnace repair that’s needed. If you have a loose component that needs tightening or a piece of damaged ductwork that needs replacing, then the answer is no. But, any smaller issue can develop into a more serious problem, and there are furnace repairs that can be dangerous if they are not fixed quickly. In this article, we will look at the importance of furnace maintenance and some of the common repairs that may be needed.
Understanding Furnace Maintenance
Every furnace should have some regularly scheduled maintenance before the heating season begins. This is vital; the heating system should be inspected, cleaned and any necessary adjustments should be made to ensure that you receive peak performance. A well maintained heating system will be less likely to break down when you need it most, and it will be more energy efficient. When the furnace is inspected regularly, it’s an ideal opportunity for the heating technician to discover any potential issues or existing problems that you need to be aware of. This could be something as mundane as a part that’s starting to fail or something more serious such as a crack in the heat exchanger.
What is a Heat Exchanger?
The heat exchanger is a metal chamber located inside your furnace. This combustion gas heats up this chamber; the heat is then transferred to air that is passing through your furnace cabinet. Essentially, the heat exchanger is where the heating process in your furnace is conducted. The heat exchanger contains a toxic exhaust gas; when the system is correctly installed and well maintained this gas is safely vented into a flue and then out of your home.
A heat exchanger is subject to a great deal of heat and pressure during its lifespan. Over time, small cracks can begin to form in the surface of the heat exchanger, and the metal surface will expand from the heat. This will widen those cracks and allow the toxic exhaust gases to escape. These dangerous gases can then enter the air that is being distributed throughout your home, and this is a significant hazard to the health of the occupants.
Heat exchanger cracks typically appear in aging furnaces that have been working hard for years. Over time, a chemical reaction occurs between the heat exchangers metal surface and the combustion gases that are created. This chemical reaction creates corrosion that will start to weaken the metal and cracks will develop. No amount of maintenance can prevent this from happening. For this reason, heating experts recommend that the furnace is replaced at least every 15 years.
If you notice any signs of corrosion or you can see cracks in your furnace, it’s crucial that you contact an HVAC specialist straight away. Another sign that you have a cracked heat exchanger is a clicking noise in the furnace when the blower fan is shut off. If a cracked heat exchanger is ignored, the problem will only get worse, and eventually, the cracks may be large enough to allow flames to escape. This is especially dangerous, and it can even lead to a house fire.
Dealing with a Cracked Heat Exchanger
The best way to care for your furnace and stay safe is to schedule some regular maintenance for your heating system. We have discussed this earlier, but let’s put this into some context and look at how regular servicing can protect you from a cracked heat exchanger.
As we mentioned above, no amount of maintenance can prevent a heat exchanger from becoming cracked over time. The metal used in heat exchangers is subject to a great deal of force, heat and eventually corrosion over an extended period of time. But, regular scheduled servicing can still help to protect your home from a cracked heat exchanger by detecting the problem early.
Early detection will allow you to have some control before the heat exchanger becomes even more dangerous. Many people are unaware of a problem until they start to get sick from inhaling toxic gas or a serious fire has started in their home. This is not the ideal way to find out that you have a problem with your heat exchanger. When you have a little advance warning, you can take steps to replace your system before the problems become even more hazardous to your health and your home.
Is Regular Maintenance Really That Useful?
The short answer is yes! When your furnace is regularly maintained your will notice that it’s far more effective at heating your home and it’s more energy efficient. This will translate into a better level of indoor comfort and lower energy bills. When you schedule a servicing appointment with a local HVAC technician, they will carry out a comprehensive list of tasks. The heating system will be inspected, all the components will be checked, any necessary cleaning will be carried out, and you will be advised if a repair or replacement is required. Here are three common maintenance tasks that you can expect when your heating system is serviced.
Any necessary adjustments to boost performance and efficiency will be made during the service appointment.
The heating technician will give you a thorough overview of the current state of your heating system. This will include an expert opinion on any necessary repairs and an assessment on how your heating system is performing as it ages.
If any components need to be repaired or replaced the heating technician will inform you. If the necessary work is urgent, you should schedule it there and then to get the heating system repaired quickly.
When is the Best Time for Maintenance?
The best to time to schedule some maintenance for your heating system is before the heating season begins. Once the colder weather hits, you will need your heating to be working efficiently to maintain your indoor comfort. If you need to know more contact your local heating professionals for expert help and advice.