Heat Exchangers at Bonfe

Cracked Heat Exchanger - image 1 sample

What is Heat Exchanger & Why is it Important?

  1. Takes the cold air from returns, heats it and pushes out the supply vents
  2. Keeps the dangerous exhaust gasses from being mixed in with breathable air

Every heat exchanger should have an airtight seal separating the gases inside and the breathable air around it. When a heat exchanger fails or cracks, the breathable air can be mixed with flue gases which can be poisonous, pose a serious health risk, and can be fatal.

How & Why Do Heat Exchangers Fail – Many Reasons But Most Common

  1. Normal use, wear and tear
  2. Flaw in Design
  3. Oversized Equipment

The major contributor to “why” in our area is use. The metro area averages 1,000 and up to 1,500+ heating hours annually. It is safe to assume the amount of expansion and contraction on our heat exchangers is much higher here than the rest of the country. Nationally, many studies conclude that either oversized equipment, lack of maintenance, and poor airflow are the main contributors to why heat exchangers fail. When a crack occurs it is not an exact science, however most will be found between 10-20 year old equipment.

What Equipment is Used to Find Heat Exchanger Cracks?

“Any visible crack or hole discovered by using these tools is a reason for requiring the heat exchanger or furnace be replaced.” – American Gas Association

  1. Infrared Video Camera with a snake (most common)
  2. Combustion Analyzer Kit
  3. Digital Manometer
  4. UV tracing solution, goggles, and flashlight
  5. Inspection Mirrors

What is a Heat Exchanger? Why is it Important?

Bonfe’s Policy on Cracked Heat Exchangers

Any heat exchanger found to have a crack will result in shutting your furnace down. It is against mechanical codes, fire department regulations, and our local utility company’s policy to allow a furnace/boiler to operate that has a cracked heat exchanger. Most importantly, we cannot be responsible for health risks or death from carbon monoxide poisoning.

We take these matters very seriously. Upon request, Bonfe will even provide a second heat exchanger expert to assess the crack at no additional charge. Return trips to prove a crack in front of the competition is at no additional charge as well. If we are ever wrong, we will refund all trip charges, inspection fees, and give you a $100 Visa gift card.

Note: Carbon Monoxide Detector is not an acceptable solution for a bad heat exchanger.

Cracked Heat Exchanger - heat flow image