Dangerous Cracked Heat Exchangers in Furnaces
You can see the rust holes up near the sheet metal plates in this heat exchanger that made the occupants sick
Everyone wants heat when old man winter arrives in the fall. Many times we take it for granted that when the temperature falls all we have to do is go to the thermostat and turn the heat on. Usually, this is not a problem. We turn the thermostat on and the heat comes on. Whether we have boilers or a furnaces at the beginning of the season when we do first turn the furnace on we have a slight burning odor which comes from the system. Usually, many of us ignore this odor because it does eventually, usually, go away. This is normal and is usually dust particles that have accumulated on the furnace’s heat exchanger burning off. How many people actually think it is carbon monoxide and called a professional HVAC technician to make sure it is not a problem? There are some people who do call but a majority of people just ignore and enjoy the heat being produced by their furnace. After all, carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless byproduct of burning fossil fuels so even if an unsafe condition existed with their furnace they would probably never know it. This is why it is important, before old man winter arrives, to call a professional, qualified furnace technician to inspect the furnace. First, the furnace technician can make sure that the furnace will start and second of all the furnace technician can make sure you will have a safely operating furnace. You want to make sure the furnace does not have a cracked heat exchanger and a good qualified HVAC technician will look for a furnace cracked heat exchanger. Heat safety is paramount so have your furnaces inspected immediately for a cracked heat exchanger. Have a safe heating season.
Residential and Light Commercial Low Pressure Steam Boilers
The residential steam boiler is still alive and well despite the fact that some HVAC professionals refer to it and the steam boiler profession as the dead mans club. However, there are not a lot of HVAC boiler technicians or HVAC companies that specialize in steam boilers because there are not a lot of the steam boilers used for residential and light commercial applications. People have either converted their old boiler steam systems over to hot water or have gone with forced air systems. The concept is simple but the mechanics of it can be frustratingly complex when a problem occurs unless you have the experience and knowledge that comes with working on the residential or light commercial steam boilers. Before we dive into some of the problems that arise with steam boilers, we’ll cover safety first. After all, HVAC safety is the most important aspect to any home heating system.
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Flue Condensation Problems – This picture shows a furnace flue with condensation problems. Flue condensation problems are caused by hot gases cooling too quickly in the flue. As the hot gases cool moisture in the gases condense and start dripping back down the flue. Flue condensation problems can be solved by making sure the gases are hot enough to be vented into the atmosphere before the moisture condenses in the gases. It could be a problem that requires a slight adjustment at the burner. It is a good idea, when you observe a furnace flue condensation problem where the condensation is dripping back down the pipe, to call a professional for to analyze the combustion process and make the precise adjustments necessary to prevent this problem. Condensation dripping back down the flue causes flue to prematurely corrode and rust. Flue condensation problems, if left alone, can cause the flue to rot and vent hot gases in an area where it could be very dangerous to the occupants of the building. There is carbon monoxide present in these gases and carbon monoxide is very dangerous.
Flue Condensation Problems
Flue condensation problems have been observed on all kinds of furnaces including gas and oil furnaces. If you have this problem or see it on your furnace heating system please consult a professional. If not repaired, eventually the corrosive condensation dripping down the flue will cause a flue or ventilation failure and that is a serious hazard to your health and the health of everyone who occupies the building where this is occurring. It is many policies of HVAC companies to always recommend carbon monoxide detectors be installed in buildings that have any type of fossil fuel burners including furnaces, cooking appliances, and other things including gas logs or hot water heaters. Safety First!
Flue Condensation Problems