HVAC DIY Tips & Tricks

How Does a Furnace Heat Exchanger Work?

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- By Russell Jones

Stay warm this winter and understand the inner workings of your furnace. Dive into our expert guide on heat exchanger technology and discover how to keep your furnace running smoothly.

What is a Furnace Heat Exchanger?

A furnace’s heat exchanger is a set of tubes or coils looped repeatedly through the airflow. The heat exchanger is the part of your furnace that heats the air.

How does a Heat Exchanger Work?

The heat exchanger creates heat by burning fuel inside of it. The air passing over the heat exchanger is heated through this process.

What Types of Fuel Can Be Used

Your furnace heat exchanger can use many fuel types, including Propane (LP) Gas, Fuel Oil, Natural Gas and Electric.

Is a Cracked Heat Exchanger Dangerous?

Yes, a damaged or cracked heat exchanger is a significant danger to you and your family. This can leak carbon monoxide into your home.

How To Stay Safe.

Your home should be fitted with carbon monoxide detectors, especially near the furnace. Regular furnace maintenance is also recommended.

How Do I Know If My Heat Exchanger Is Bad?

Most gas furnace heat exchangers should last 10 – 20 years, with the average being 15.

Problems To Watch Out For

Strange smells, yellow flame color, soot buildup, weird sounds and the presence of carbon monoxide may indicate a bad heat exchanger.

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