Cracked Heat Exchanger: Every Homeowner’s Gas Furnace Worry

One of the essential components in your home that provides you and your family comfort and warmth is a gas furnace. Gas furnaces are reliable, efficient, and powerful enough to deliver heat to your home during cold days. And since we’ve finally reached the winter season, your gas furnace must function properly. 

Home appliances and equipment will always come with worries about safety, especially when using a gas furnace. Although gas furnaces are pretty safe and are the number one choice for heating systems, there are some hazards that you need to be aware of, such as a cracked heat exchanger. 

With regular furnace maintenance and proper repair, you shouldn’t have to worry about this issue. But if, by any chance, you end up with a cracked heat exchanger, what would you do?

In this article, we’ll share with you everything you need to know about dealing with a cracked heat exchanger, how to avoid it, the dangers, and more. Are you ready? Let’s get to it!

What is a heat exchanger?

One of the most significant parts of a gas furnace is the heat exchanger, responsible for safely transferring heat from the combustion gas into the air, and then through the ventilation system. 

During this process, the gas cannot have contact with the air, and instead, it should gather inside a metal chamber, which is the heat exchanger and raises the temperature of the metal walls. When the heat exchanger finally cools down, the gas byproducts are then safely released through a flue and out of your home. 

What happens when my heat exchanger has a crack?

Having a crack on your heat exchanger is terrible and dangerous news because as this part expands due to the heat, a crack can grow, allowing harmful gasses to escape and enter the airflow. These toxic gases can end up inside your home, ultimately risking the lives of people present in the space. 

How does it crack?

If your heat exchanger has been exposed to vapour and heat for years, it may experience corrosion, leading to cracks. And when you have improper ventilation, it will ultimately speed up the corrosion process.

How do I avoid cracking my heat exchanger?

The best way to deal with heat exchanger issues is by taking precautionary measures to prevent serious problems. And the best thing you can do is regular furnace maintenance done by professionals. 

When you get regular maintenance and tune-ups, HVAC technicians check your gas furnace’s components for weak points, cracks, and corrosions that are starting to develop. If your furnace has damage, it can easily be repaired; however, if you have an old furnace, it’s best to have the whole system replaced for your safety. 

Will my furnace still work even with a cracked heat exchanger?

Although your furnace can still work, having a cracked heat exchanger will still put you at risk of having dangerous gas byproducts leak into your home. 

One of the most significant things you need to worry about is having carbon monoxide (CO) gas leak into your home. Unfortunately, CO has no odour or colour, meaning it will be challenging for you to detect, and the only time you’ll notice this problem is when people start to get sick, increasing the risk of death in some extreme cases. 


Now that you know the basics of a heat exchanger, you must schedule regular furnace maintenance to avoid any issues and health hazards. With proper maintenance, you won’t have to worry about gas leaks and other dangerous threats that you may experience with a faulty gas furnace, and instead, you’ll have worry-free and warmer winter nights. 

Are you looking for furnace maintenance in Edmonton? Look no further because Legacy Heating is here for you. We specialize in HVAC systems for homes and offer installation and replacement services for furnaces, air-conditioners, thermostats, ventilation, and more. Get a free quote from us today!

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