Exploring Emergency Plumbing Services

Three Signs Your Gas Furnace Has a Crack in the Heat Exchanger

by April Rivera

A cracked heat exchanger is a dangerous scenario with a gas furnace. A crack in the exchanger can emit harmful gases through the air inside your home, which will put your entire family at risk. A crack in the heat exchanger may also cause your system to operate at a lower level of efficiency, which can lead to an increase in your operating costs. It's vital that homeowners are able to recognize some early warning signs that often point to this issue. Learn about some of them here. 

Corrosion Around the System

Be watchful for signs of corrosion around your gas furnace. One important factor to remember about the outside of your heater is that its condition is a reflection of what's going on inside. So, if there is corrosion on the outside, a similar problem is likely taking place on the inside. 

In terms of a cracked heat exchanger, corrosion may result from the excess moisture that may build up inside the furnace when there is a crack in the heat exchange. Corrosion can make the furnace more than just unsightly; the corrosion can also damage the outside structure of the unit, so it's critical you have the problem investigated and addressed. 

Unusual Smells

Pay attention to unusual smells that are emitted whenever you turn your furnace on. Within the heat exchanger are a variety of different chemicals, and many of these chemicals can produce a scent. 

If you notice a harsh smell, somewhat like formaldehyde, the scenario is a cause for concern as the crack in the heat exchanger may be offering an avenue for the gas to seep out. This may be the reason for the smell you notice. In some instances, prolonged exposure to the odorous gases may also lead to health concerns, so make sure you don't ignore the matter. 


A gas furnace system undergoes somewhat of an incineration cycle during operation. When the system is functioning correctly, there is little concern with the process. However, when there is a crack in the heat exchanger, the incineration cycle does not follow through completely. 

The result of the incomplete cycle is an increase in soot or black carbon buildup around the system. Evidence of this buildup is an ample sign that you need to have the problem investigated. 

If you suspect an issue with your gas furnace, contact a heating contractor right away. A technician can quickly assess the matter and perform the appropriate repairs. For more information on gas furnaces, visit https://www.erickson-plumbingqc.com/