The heat exchanger is a little-understood yet essential part of oil furnaces. A faulty exchanger can lead to heating problems and even carbon monoxide issues. To better understand this part and keep your heating system running smoothly, here is a quick overview of this furnace component.
A Guide to Heat Exchangers
What does it do?
The heat exchanger is responsible for transferring the heat from the combustion chamber to the air. When the furnace turns on, the combustion gases enter and heat up the part’s metal walls. The system pushes cold air along the outside of the chamber. As it touches the hot metal walls, the air is heated up and then blown through the interior vents. The carbon monoxide produced by the combustion is sent through a vent outside the home.
Why is it important?
The heat exchanger isn’t only essential to heating your air; it keeps your family safe. By keeping the harmful combustion gases separate from the air that’s sent into your home, this component protects your air quality. Carbon monoxide leaking into the house can cause unpleasant, flu-like symptoms and even be fatal.
What are some common problems to look for?
As the exchanger’s metal heats and cools, it expands and contracts. Over time, this will fatigue and break the metal. A crack in the chamber allows air to flow between your interior vents and the combustion chamber, potentially causing harmful gases from entering your home. This natural wear generally occurs after 10 to 20 years or earlier if it was improperly installed or maintained.
How do I know there’s a problem?
There are a few common signs that you have a cracked or otherwise faulty exchanger. You may notice strange odors coming from your vents that smell similar to formaldehyde. Additionally, look for soot buildups or visible cracks on other furnace components. Finally, water pooling on the floor below your furnace can indicate an issue with the exchanger.
When you need a heating oil delivery or oil furnace repairs, contact Apple Oil in New Haven County, CT. This company has been providing unmatched experience and customer care for more than 30 years throughout New Haven and Fairfield counties. In addition to keeping your furnace in good condition and running safely, they offer convenient heating oil delivery to keep you warm all season long. They offer same-day delivery if you call by noon, and they provide discounts to first-time buyers. Contact them online or at (203) 934-3835 to schedule an oil furnace service appointment.