What is a heat exchanger?
When gas or propane is burned, it heats up the heat exchanger, and the air from your home blows across the heated metal tubes transferring that heat into your home. Its job is to remove the gases safely to the exhaust system, which is either made from metal or PVC. It keeps your home safe by separating the carbon monoxide filled air and the air that circulates throughout your home.
How can heat exchangers fail?
- Heat exchangers can develop hot spots which break down the metal, typically due to low airflow from a dirty or undersized filter.
- An oversized furnace can cause frequent start and stop cycles, which lead to premature failure.
- Certain chemicals in the air can cause corrosion to eat a hole through the metal.
How can you determine if a heat exchanger has failed?
- Observe disturbances in the flame pattern when the furnace blower starts up. It can seem to float, flicker, or roll out of the furnace.
- Measure carbon monoxide levels in the airstream.
- Measure carbon monoxide levels in the exhaust system
- Visually inspect for rust, corrosion, splits, cracks, or holes.
- It is important to note that a heat exchanger can fail without all of these symptoms occurring.
- See more at AHRI
What can happen if it fails?
- There is a health risk of carbon monoxide circulating throughout home.
- The system can overheat and cycle off on high temperature.
- Cost to repair is very comparable to the cost of replacement
- You could be without heat for awhile as replacement heat exchangers may not be available.
Outdoor Power Cord
What is an outdoor power cord?
The outdoor power cord, or in industry lingo the “whip”, carries electricity from the power box to your air conditioner or heat pump. The cord should be made of copper stranded wiring, and sealed with water tight fittings.
How can a power cord fail?
- If the cord isn’t water tight, water can cause a short in the wiring, typically blowing the circuit breaker.
- Cracked insulation will lead to exposed wiring, and could lead to personal injury.
What happens when it fails?
- There is a potential for injury.
- The outdoor system will not operate.