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Everything to Know About Your Furnace’s Heat Exchanger

Look, we know that here in Florida, the focus is usually on air conditioners. You only use your furnace for a tiny fraction of the year, so why would we spend an entire blog post about such a small component of your heating system?

Well, don’t let the heat exchanger’s size fool you, it’s one of the most important aspects of your furnace, let alone the safety of your home. While you might not use your furnace as much as your AC, a gas furnace that’s neglected can quickly become a safety concern if you’re not careful. We see this happen to furnaces in Lakewood Ranch, FL all the time, and we’d like to inform our customers about the importance of proper heater care.

So, want to know more about the most sensitive component of your heating system? Keep reading and we’ll tell you!

What Is a Heat Exchanger?

Take a guess. What do you think a heat exchanger is? Smart blog readers out there might think that it’s something that exchanges heat, which is correct on a technicality. Other people might say it’s just an important part of your heater, which is almost the right answer. Well, we hope you’re ready to take some notes because we’re going to dive right into what this component is.

The heat exchanger is a component that’s tasked with exchanging heat from the combustion chamber of your furnace to the fresh air that gets distributed throughout your home. Without a heat exchanger, you’d constantly be inhaling all of the exhaust that comes from burning natural gas in such large quantities. This component heats up as the gas is burned, and allows fresh air to pass over it, heating up as well. Once the fresh air is heated up, it gets distributed to where you spend most of your time!

Important Things to Note About a Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger might not be the biggest component in your system, but it is by far the most important part. Gas furnaces are supposed to function safely without the distribution of gas or carbon monoxide throughout your home. If your heat exchanger gets damaged or starts falling apart, you could see your furnace turn into a safety hazard.

  • Investigate any rattling or other noises. If you hear any rattling, grinding, buzzing, or shaking coming from your furnace, we urge you to get these noises investigated by a professional. They could easily lead to damage to your heat exchanger and the leaking of gas and carbon monoxide.
  • Stay vigilant for smells and physical symptoms of carbon monoxide. Aside from CO detectors, your nose can pick up on leaking gas quite easily. If you develop any headaches, fatigue, memory loss, and nausea, you could be inhaling carbon monoxide due to a failed heat exchanger.
  • Get your furnace maintained. Want to avoid all of these nightmare scenarios? By having your furnace maintained once a year, a professional will keep it in good shape so that your heat exchanger remains strong and secure.

Call Jim McDonald & Sons Heating & Cooling Inc. We’ve been heating and cooling Sarasota and Manatee Counties since 1970.

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