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Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -

Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -


Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30-5:30PM
Saturday: 8:00-1:00PM


Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

The Heat Exchanger: The Secret of a Furnace’s Success

Furnaces have a number of components that help them to operate safely and effectively, but there are 3 key components that could be dubbed the “workhorses” of the system: the blower, the burner and the heat exchanger. While every component is necessary, should a problem develop with any of these 3, you most likely won’t have any heat, or won’t have safe, sufficient and efficient heat. Today we’re going to talk about the heat exchanger: how it works, why it’s important and how a cracked heat exchanger can be a serious problem. But remember that for any furnace repair issues you may have in Orange County, the experts from Saddleback Plumbing are always available.

What Is a Heat Exchanger?

The heat exchanger in your furnace is a medium-sized, serpentine component that sits directly above the burner. The tube of the heat exchanger is open at both ends, which allows the toxic combustion byproducts to enter at the burner level and exit through the flue, which is connected to the top of the heat exchanger. The warm air that is generated on the outside of the heat exchanger is the warm air that is blown into your home.

Why Does a Heat Exchanger Work Like This?

The heat exchanger is the component that separates the toxic byproducts from the combustion, including carbon monoxide, from the warm air; without it, these byproducts would be blown into your home along with the heat.

Why Is a Cracked Heat Exchanger Dangerous?

Heat exchangers have an average lifespan similar to that of your furnace: about 15-18 years. The heat exchanger is constantly heating and cooling, which causes the metal to expand and contrast regularly throughout the winter months. After years of this action, cracks can develop in the heat exchanger. The reason this is dangerous is that a crack in the heat exchanger can allow the toxic byproducts to escape and enter your home, including carbon monoxide. Heat exchangers can’t be repaired once a crack develops, but they can be replaced.

The best way to ensure that your furnace is repaired properly is to hire a professional. The trained and certified experts at Saddleback Plumbing are available for any furnace repair in Orange County that you may have, so if you are experiencing problems with your furnace, call us today.

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