When the weather outside turns colder, the most important piece in your home is the furnace. They can provide great comfort to your family by keeping them safe and warm all winter long.
For this reason, it is important to have a firm understanding of the working components of your furnace. This will allow you to better identify any potential problems, giving you time to call in a technician while the issue is still minor and affordable.
Understanding What a Heat Exchanger Is
Essentially, a heat exchanger is made up of long metal tubes that have an opening on each end. They work to move the heat from the gas in the burners to the air that blows into your home. The burning gas goes through the heat exchanger, ensuring that any toxic byproducts are vented safely out of the system. Then, a fan blows the air over the heated metal. That hot air is then blown into the ducts and passed safely to the rooms of your home.
If your system features a boiler, the radiator gets heat from gas jets after the water has absorbed the heat energy. The heat exchanger makes it possible for that heat energy to go safely from the gas to the water. If you were to attempt to heat the water right from the gas, the water would extinguish the flames. The general idea of a heat exchanger is to allow for the transfer of heat without transferring any of the fluid carrying the heat.
Why Is a Heat Exchanger So Important?
In general, heat exchangers do not usually require any repairs. There are no moving parts on a heat exchanger and it is built to be long-lasting. The issue is that when there is a problem, it is a big problem. Over time, a heat exchanger may become cracked or damaged. When this happens, dangerous gases can leak out into your home. One of the greatest concerns with a heat exchange that is not working properly is carbon monoxide poisoning. If the gases in the system are not being vented properly, it is possible for carbon monoxide to get out and into your home.
In most cases, the heat exchanger in your system should last as long as ten years. The bad thing is that when it goes out, it is not going to be easy to replace. For this reason, you will need the help of a properly licensed and trained HVAC professional to perform the necessary service.
If you have not already scheduled a tune-up for your HVAC system this year, it is important that you get on the phone and do so right away. You do not want to find yourself in the dead of winter scrambling for heat if your system fails. It is important to perform the necessary maintenance tasks to keep your system running. In addition, regular service calls each year will help you rest assured that your system is prepared to keep you and your family comfortable all season long.