The average homeowner doesn’t know what every part inside the HVAC system does, and they likely can’t identify them either. However, it can be beneficial to understand what many critical parts do. For example, a better understanding of the heat exchanger can give a homeowner insight into whether the furnace works properly and safely.

The Primary Purpose of a Heat Exchanger

The primary purpose of a Heat exchanger centers on transferring thermal energy from one particular medium to another. Evaporator coils and condenser coils support the heat exchange when the system is heating or cooling the home.

With a furnace, a heat exchanger receives and houses combustion gases from the furnace while the blower sends air over the outside of the heat exchanger. The gases inside the heat exchanger heat the air that blows through the air ducts and out the vents to heat the home. The resulting exhaust gases are sent out of the home. Such steps should occur if the unit works properly.

Problems With the Heat Exchanger

Numerous signs may indicate problems with the heat exchanger, such as excessive soot, a change in the normal color of the burner’s flames and odd smells from the unit. Such problems can indicate serious issues with the heat exchanger.

If the heat exchanger overheats, it can develop cracks. Carbon monoxide may escape from the cracks, creating a potentially deadly situation. So, checking for problems with the heat exchanger seems advisable.

Maintenance and Heat Exchangers

Routine maintenance can uncover problems with the heat exchanger and other issues with the furnace. Sometimes, a heat exchanger can crack because the unit’s filter is old and clogged. A faulty high-limit switch might fail and not shut down the system when it overheats. Again, routine service visits might uncover problems with the filter and other components and address things before they get worse and become more costly.

The team at Schmitt Refrigeration, Heating & Air can provide heating and cooling services to residential and commercial clients in Evansville and the surrounding areas. We also specialize in refrigeration, indoor air quality and ductless work. The company opened in 1968, is BBB accredited, and sports an A+. Call our offices today.

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