2 Components Of Your Gas Furnace That Need To Be Inspected After Winter

Posted on: 15 July 2015

Your furnace managed to survive the long winter without requiring any expensive repairs. Even though your furnace didn't break down, it sustained excessive wear—and although the winter season is now over, your gas furnace may still pose a threat to your safety if certain components malfunctioned or sustained heavy damage. Have these two components of your furnace inspected after each winter season to ensure your home's safety:

Combustion Chamber

Your combustion chamber contains several vital components of your furnace. Your gas line, burner assembly, and pilot flame are the components of your combustion chamber that must be inspected.

Your gas line can develop leaks along several points. If your gas line begins to leak, then unspent fuel from your line will begin filling your home—which will lead to a sudden and deadly explosion once the gas finds an open flame or source of ignition.

Your gas line will remain active even if your furnace is shut down for the spring and summer seasons. Until your gas valve is closed, your gas line will remain filled with gas. For this reason, you'll need to ensure your gas valve is closed once you're done using it for the winter.

If your furnace has a standing pilot, then it's flame will remain on even while your furnace is off. Before you close your gas valve, you may be able to determine whether or not your gas line is leaking by inspecting your pilot flame. If your pilot flame is extinguished even though you've left it active, then it's likely there's a leak along your gas line.

However, simply closing your gas valve won't solve your problem—when next winter rolls around, you'll still be threatened by your leaking gas line. Luckily, the parts required to replace your gas line are inexpensive, and the replacement process doesn't require a significant amount of manual labor. For these reasons, you shouldn't hesitate to leave the task of inspecting and replacing your gas line to your local heating contractors.

Heat Exchanger

Gas furnaces require a heat exchanger to keep carbon monoxide and other gas combustion fumes from polluting your home's air supply. As your burner assembly ignites gas, the byproducts are ventilated upwards through your furnace's exchanger. Your exchanger is connected to a flue that carries the combustion fumes into the outdoor environment.

However, your heat exchanger isn't extremely durable. The temperature fluctuations your exchanger experiences during normal operation is enough to cause your exchanger to become fatigued. Once your exchanger is fatigued, it becomes prone to cracking or splitting. Cracks in your exchanger will leak combustion fumes into your home—where they'll pose a serious threat to your respiratory system and overall well-being.

Unfortunately, your heat exchanger isn't easy to inspect. In addition to simply gaining access to your exchanger (which requires dismantling other components of your furnace), your HVAC technician must also completely remove your exchanger and test for leaks using multiple methods.

Similarly to your burner assembly, leaving the inspection of your heat exchanger to your local HVAC technician is the safest choice. If you inspect your exchanger and fail to find even a single tiny crack, then you and your household members will be at risk of developing carbon monoxide poisoning.

Don't let your furnace go through the spring and summer seasons without inspecting these components. If you fail to have these components inspected, the safety of you and your family or household members will be in danger. If you aren't able to thoroughly inspect and (if necessary) replace these components on your own, then hire your local HVAC contractor to perform the inspections and replacements for you.

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HVAC For The Layman

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