Indianapolis Homeowner And A Cracked Heat Exchanger

By: Brian Schutt  |  September 26, 2012

Today’s post is a true story.

As we work in homes across Indianapolis, we get to know many great customers. Chris is no exception. Over the past few months, we’ve been working in Chris’ home. We believe his story is a great example for other homeowners throughout Indianapolis for a few reasons:

1) Chris is in real estate and has a great working knowledge of issues that arise in home services.

2) Despite his knowledge there were issues that weren’t identified, yet could have been very harmful if we hadn’t addressed them.

3) Many other homes have the same issues but customers are unaware.

Chris’ home on the north side of Indianapolis is around 1,000 ft. sq. and was built in 1988. The majority of the home was still original when he purchased it a few years ago and he’s been steadily replacing the dated items. On his list this year was the air conditioner, and that’s when he called Homesense.

While there was some space limitations inside, the sizing and installation of the new air conditioner was pretty straightforward. Chris found Homesense through the internet and chose us because of our quality reviews, and had a good rapport with our technician who inspected the issue initially. 

During the installation of the new air conditioner we found an issue that so many homeowners are unaware of, even if they’re educated on how the systems work. Upon removing the old evaporator coil, which sits on top of most furnaces, (see picture) we were able to look into the furnace. This view, which is only accessible when the coil is removed or with special snaking devices with cameras, allowed our technician to look down on the heat exchangers of the furnace.

With this view our technician found two cracks within the heat exchanger. As we’ve discussed in the past, cracks in your heat exchanger can allow combustion air that needs to be vented out of your home into the duct system and distributed into the air you breathe. For a more simple analogy, imagine the exhaust exiting your muffler coming into your car. That same carbon monoxide is created through the heat exchanger, and will be undetectable to your senses. It’s an immediate health risk and should be dealt with promptly.

 

There is no telling how long this issue existed. While it hadn’t been life threatening yet, who knows the adverse health impact it did have. If you feel tired, listless, and headachy this winter, it might not just be the long nights and cold air, but something far more risky.

The next obvious question, what can a homeowner do? Clearly not everyone is going to have us tear off their evaporator coil to get a peak at the heat exchanger. But, what you can do is:

 

  • Have your furnace maintained
  • Change your filter regularly
  • Have a CO test performed on your system
  • Definitely have a CO detector installed in your home.

Thankfully we were able to catch the issue at Chris’ home before this winter and get his furnace replaced. If you think your home is at risk, please give us a call. You and your family’s safety and health is a priority for our business and we will address the questions promptly.

 

Brian Schutt

About 

is the co-owner of Homesense Heating | Cooling. Born and raised in Indianapolis, he loves the city and its people, and is committed to bringing a servants mindset into the heating and cooling industry. One of the ways he does that is to translate the technical language of HVAC into the manageable and understandable for homeowners.

Have a question? Tweet him and you'll get an answer promptly.

Posted in: Heating