A cracked heat exchanger is an extremely serious problem. Replacing it without installing a new furnace is possible, but expensive. Contact a professional quickly to weigh your options, as this is a dangerous situation involving the release of carbon monoxide and other toxic gases, which can result in severe illness and even death.
What Is a Heat Exchanger?
A furnace has a metal container designed to collect combustion gases, the heat from which transfers to the metal walls. The blower moves air around this heat exchanger. In the process, the air heats up and moves into the ventilation system, while harmful combustion exhaust is vented out of the home via a flue.
Which Is the Better Option?
Your options are to replace a cracked heat exchanger or replace the entire furnace. There are two major factors to consider in deciding how to proceed:
- Replacing a Heat Exchanger Is Expensive: It’s possible to remove the damaged component and install a new one. Nonetheless, this is one of the most expensive furnace repairs. An experienced professional will usually suggest replacing the furnace if a repair job costs more than half the price of a new unit.
- Cracked Heat Exchangers Typically Occur In Old Furnaces: Usually, this happens to furnaces that are more than 15 years old, in which the exchanger has been weakened due to corrosion. Even if the exchanger is replaced, an old furnace will soon need additional repairs. Besides, it is less efficient to begin with.
Cost is usually the main deciding factor. Components for older appliances are expensive. Meanwhile, a newer furnace is unlikely to require repairs. Repair costs won’t add up and your utility bills may decrease. Not to mention a warranty will cover any services needed within a few years. While you’ll invest upfront in a new system, you’ll save over time on repairs and operating costs.
How Is Your Furnace Performing?
The age of your furnace, utility costs, and the need for repairs are just a few considerations. Also, look at how your furnace is running. If the unit is noisy, turns on and off frequently, or has a yellow or orange burner flame, it should be replaced. When some parts of your home are hotter or colder than others, this is a sign of a failing furnace.
What If My Newer Furnace’s Heat Exchanger Fails?
A furnace that’s under 10 years old is unlikely to have such a problem, but it’s not unheard of. Fortunately, many heating systems have a 10-year parts warranty; some warranties even cover heat exchanger replacement. However, labor warranties don’t usually provide coverage for that long. You may still have to pay for the labor, which can account for most of the cost of service. Having to pay for parts and labor will cost even more, but it’s important to weigh the options whether the warranty has expired or not.
Contact Black Hills Home Services
When your furnace starts to show signs of wear and age, the experts at Black Hills can help determine your best options. An issue such as a cracked heat exchanger often means it’s time to think about replacing the unit. Our licensed, bonded technicians are experienced in furnace installations, replacements, and upgrades. All installation work is covered by a 100% money-back guarantee. To schedule an appointment, book service with us online or call 888-338-1312 today.