You may have heard a technician tell you that you have a crack in your heat exchanger. While this may not initially sound too alarming, once you understand just how bad that it can be for the health and safety of your family, you might think twice before turning the furnace back on.
Gas furnaces work by burning natural gas, venting it through a series of metal tubes called a heat exchanger, and then blowing air over the heat exchanger to warm it to be distributed into your home. A by-product of burning natural gas is a poisonous gas– Carbon Monxide. In a properly working furnace, this poison should be captured in the heat exchanger, where it is safely vented into the atmosphere, however, when there are cracks present, the carbon monoxide can escape into the stream of air being blown into the home and contaminate the air you are breathing.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning is something to take extremely seriously. At high levels, it can kill you within minutes. At moderate levels, you can experience dizziness, headaches, confusion, and nausea. If a technician tells you that you have a crack in your heat exchanger, we would strongly urge you to listen to their recommendations to replace either the heat exchanger itself or your furnace.