What Does My Furnace’s Heat Exchanger Do?

Gas-powered furnaces have a long history of providing effective and energy-efficient heat to homes. You probably know some of the basics of how your Tri Lake, CO furnace operates: a pilot light (or an electric igniter) turns on gas jets that produce heat. Blower fans then take this heat and send it through ducts to different places in a home, out vents, and into the living spaces. However, a crucial step is missing from the process: how the heat transfers to the air. This is the job of the heat exchanger, and it’s one of the key components inside your gas furnace. It needs to be in good shape for you to get proper heating—and to keep you safe. If you have troubles with your heat exchanger, you need to have professional repairs done as soon as possible.

Contact Airflow Pros for fast and friendly service from our NATE-certified technicians—any time of the day or night!

The workings of a heat exchanger

Heat exchangers resemble metal clamshells; your furnace probably has more than one. When the gas jets light up along the burner, they produce a high-temperature combustible gas. You don’t actually want this gas blown into your home, so its heat must be transferred to the air. This is what the heat exchanger is for. The gas from the combustion chamber enters the heat exchanger and heats up the walls of the exchanger to a high level. A fan then blows a current of air around and through the heat exchanger, receiving the heat from its wall and raising its temperature. It’s this hot air that the blower fans then send through the ducts. Vents then safely remove the combustion gas from the exchanger.

Caution: Cracked heat exchanger!

Heat exchangers can develop cracks from rust if they are not maintained properly. This is a dangerous situation, since it will mean a possible leak of carbon monoxide exhaust. This gas is both toxic and highly flammable. If you hear hissing from your furnace cabinet or notice a change in the color of your pilot light, turn off the gas immediately and contact an HVAC technician to repair the problem.

At Airflow Pros, we take your comfort and safety seriously. If you need a heat exchanger repaired or replaced, we will get to you quickly to restore your heating power and prevent any health hazards. Trust our experience and training when it comes to your furnace and other heating service in Tri Lakes, CO.

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