2 Signs Your Home's Gas Furnace Has A Cracked Heat Exchanger And Needs Immediate Repairs


As part of the operation of your home's gas furnace, the natural gas is ignited and combusts within a metal-encased component called the heat exchanger. As the combustion takes place, the exchanger's casing contains toxic gas byproducts such as carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide that are created and sends them to the flue to keep them from accumulating inside your house. 

If this exchanger becomes overheated, the metal casing can crack, allowing these gases to escape. Keep on the lookout for a couple of signs that the heat exchanger in your home's gas furnace has a crack in it that needs to be addressed by a professional immediately.

1. Overpowering Odor Resembling That of Pickle Juice Permeates the Air in Your Home 

One tell-tale sign that your home's furnace has a crack is an overpowering odor of pickle juice that permeates your home. If you ever took a high school biology class where dissected frogs were stored in formaldehyde, the odor may give you flashbacks because the smell will remind you of those days.

The formaldehyde odor will fill your home when the gas byproducts are released from a crack in the heat exchanger. As soon as you detect this smell, turn off your furnace, and immediately contact a professional to have them inspect the heat exchanger to see if it needs to be replaced.

2. Loud Rattling Noise Comes From the Furnace Whenever It Is Running

Another sign that the heat exchanger is cracked is the presence of a loud rattling noise coming from the furnace. As soon as the heater kicks on, you will hear the rattling and may notice that the entire furnace vibrates.

As the combustion of the natural gas occurs in a cracked exchanger, the force created by the ignition will cause the rattling of the casing. Especially if you also notice a strong odor, you need to have a professional repair the issue as soon as possible. 

If your home starts smelling like a high school biology lab and you hear a rattling noise coming from your home's gas furnace, there is a strong possibility that the heat exchanger has a crack in it. Since the casing of the exchanger is responsible for keeping toxic gases such as carbon monoxide from escaping the heating system, you should not ignore the signs and need to have the furnace inspected by a professional immediately. Contact an HVAC contractor who offers furnace repair services to explain your concerns and schedule a service call as soon as possible.


18 January 2023

Learning About HVAC Services

Hi there, I am Nadine Bachmier. I am going to discuss the various ways HVAC contractors can keep the temperatures in your business stable. HVAC contractors focus on maintaining and repairing the air conditioner, furnace, and ductwork used in your building. To keep the heating and cooling system in good shape, contractors may need to replace internal components, clean out channels, or simply perform a full upgrade. I will talk about the tools and techniques used to maintain and repair the equipment in your building. I will also share information about new products as they hit the HVAC market. I hope you will follow along and learn all you can.