With cooler temperatures recently and more on the way, it’s time to start thinking about your heater. If you have a gas furnace, one of the primary components that operate your system is called a heat exchanger. In this post, we’ll discuss heat exchangers, what they are, why they’re important, how they work, and how to make sure they’re operating properly and safely.

WHAT IS A HEAT EXCHANGER?

A heat exchanger is a metal object inside your furnace that serves two purposes:

  1. Providing heat to your home
  2. Preventing carbon monoxide (a deadly gas) from entering your home

In essence, the heat exchanger takes the heat that’s produced in the furnace and separates the healthy byproduct (warm air) from harmful byproducts (carbon monoxide).

HOW DOES A HEAT EXCHANGER WORK?

When your furnace kicks on, the burners ignite and the flames heat the exchanger. The gas from the burners heats up the inside walls of the metal heat exchanger, making the outside surface very hot. Once the device is hot, the air handler blows air over the outside walls to heat it up. That’s the process of “exchanging” the heat from the gas inside to the air outside.

This is a safety feature, as the gas inside the exchanger contains carbon monoxide that is deadly to humans.

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR HEAT EXCHANGER?

Danger occurs if a crack were to form in the wall of the heat exchanger, thus allowing the deadly gas to escape. Though rare, this can happen in older units and can lead to devastating consequences. To make sure this doesn’t happen, there are a couple of things you can do:

  1. Make sure your system gets an annual tune-up that includes inspection of your heat exchanger.
  2. Change your air filter regularly. Anything that causes more stress on your system can cause it to overheat, and eventually crack. Changing your filter regularly will keep the airflow clean and prevent overheating.
  3. Ensure that you have at least one carbon monoxide filter in your home to detect the gas in case of any leaks.

WORTH THE CALL

Now is the time to get your entire system checked out as a part of our Fall Clean and Check. This $99 tune-up will ensure your heater is ready to keep you warm and safe all winter long. Make an appointment online, or call us today at (432) 570-5233. It’s Worth the Call. Always.