cracked heat exchanger

Is A Cracked Heat Exchanger Dangerous? Everything You Need To know

There are limited reasons why you could be confronted with a cracked heat exchanger because they’re normally exceptionally robust. That being said, lets dive in to learn more about heat exchangers and the effects they might have on our health if they should have a crack.

Heat exchangers are found in most heating systems in the United States and Las Vegas. But what ever are they? It’s a device found in gas heating systems that facilitates the transfer of heat. When The Gas Burners come on, it heats up the heat exchanger to provide heating for the designated area or room. If the heat exchanger is cracked and you are running your furnace, you can be exposed to the harmful gas called the carbon monoxide. Here are a few reasons that could cause a heat exchanger to crack

  • Overheating – If a heating system experiences insufficient airflow, it’ll most probably encounter overheating. Over time, dust, dirt, and other micro-particles will accumulate in the heat exchanger. Because of this, it’ll become blocked and start restricting the airflow. Air plays a significant role in cooling the temperature of the internal system. As a result of the limited airflow and temperature control, the heat exchanger can crack.
  • Worn control valves – Additionally, the control valves can become worn. When this happens, the pressure becomes too much for the heat exchanger to handle. If this occurs, it’s a high possibility that the heat exchanger can become cracked.
  • Dirty filters – Lastly, dirty filters attached to your system could cause your heat exchanger to crack. Similarly to the above, it dramatically limits airflow which is used to cool the system. Due to this, the heat exchanger can become exceptionally hot and crack.  

What problems can occur from cracked heat exchangers

There isn’t an extensive collection of bad heat exchanger effects caused by cracks. However, there’s one significant problem that’s mandatory to become knowledgeable on.

Heating systems that use heat exchanges use natural gasses, propane, or heating oil. When either of these substances is burned to generate heat, they produce water vapor, soot, carbon dioxide, and most notably, carbon monoxide.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 430 US citizens die each year from unexpected carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Being exposed to either of these for a prolonged time could quickly turn fatal. Therefore, you’ll want to contact a professional about the issue immediately before it becomes life-threatening.  

Common signs of a cracked heat exchanger

After reading the above, I’m sure you understand the severe problems that can occur from a cracked heat exchanger. To eliminate this from becoming a present issue, you’ll want to become familiar with the common signs below. Here are some basic ways in which you can identify a cracked heat exchanger:

  • Yellowish flame – The flame produced should mostly be blue with a small yellow tip for those with gas furnaces. However, if your heat exchanger is cracked, the flame can turn yellow or be inconsistent.  
  • Rust and cracks – Alternatively, if you see any signs of rust or cracks externally around the exchanger, it could mean the internal parts might be receiving the same treatment.
  • Unusual odors – The most notable smell you’ll encounter is formaldehyde if the heat exchanger is cracked. If you can smell an unusual odor, the crack could be significant. Therefore, call a technician immediately.
  • Soot – Including the above, you might notice soot being produced by the system. This black smoke is only generated from a unit that isn’t burning fuel cleanly, meaning the burner could be improperly adjusted or the heat exchanger has cracked.

The above outlines the primary signs that your heat exchanger is cracked. However, if you’re ever unsure, you’ll want to contact a reputable HVAC company to guarantee the safety of yourself and others living on the property.

cracked heat exchanger

Think your heat exchanger is cracked?

Living in Las Vegas and are concerned about your heat exchanger? Then we recommend you contact us. On the other side will be waiting a helpful, professional, and eager Mastermind Mechanical HVAC technician who can provide you accurate knowledge, quoting, and expertise.

Over the last 15 years, we’ve helped countless clients in Clark County, North Las Vegas, Henderson, and Las Vegas, with many HVAC and plumbing services. Since our establishment, we’ve withheld the utmost efficiency, professionalism, and respect for all clients. This can be showcased in our testimonial section on our website.  

After reading the above, you should now be aware of the considerable problems you can encounter with a cracked heat exchanger. The problems are enormous, unnoticeable at times, and can become progressively worse if not acted on accordingly.

Therefore, don’t wait, and ensure your property is safe by contacting us today.

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Since 2005

Mastermind Mechanical has been proudly providing Las Vegas and all of Clark County, Nevada with heating, air conditioning, and plumbing services for over 15 years.

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About Mastermind

Mastermind Mechanical LLC has been serving Las Vegas for over 15 years. We are committed to providing fast, and professional Las Vegas AC repair and Las Vegas AC replacement at affordable pricing. Everything we do is guided by the core values of integrity, quality, respect, and long-term relationships built on trust.


5510 S Fort Apache Road Las Vegas NV 89148

(702) 420-2121


NV LIC# 0084840 (HVAC)
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