If you have noticed that your gas furnace is exhibiting any odd behaviors or emitting unusual odors, you may wonder if there is an issue within the unit that requires a heating repair contractor. If so, look for the following signs that your gas furnace's heat exchanger may be damaged or is going bad.
Pilot Light's Appearance Has Changed
While trying to determine whether your furnace's heat exchanger is failing, cracked, or otherwise damaged, take a look at the pilot light. Normally, when the amount of gas and oxygen is balanced and the flow is unobstructed, the pilot light will have a light blue color, and the flame will burn evenly.
However, if there is a problem with the heat exchanger that causes your furnace to burn too much gas, the pilot light will turn yellow. And, if the flow of gas or oxygen is obstructed or uneven, you may see the flame burning at what appears to be an angle that favors one side.
Metal Around the Pilot Becomes Discolored
While you are examining the pilot light, also look at the metal surrounding the flame. Usually, you may see a small amount of discoloration of metal directly above the flame.
However, if the heat exchanger has been damaged, and is allowing gas to filter outside of the pilot's gas line, you may see soot coating the metal, and you may see a rainbow effect where flames have come into contact with their surroundings.
When you see these discolorations, too much gas is being burnt off, sometimes outside of the pilot or burner. A byproduct of this burning of extra gas is carbon monoxide, which can cause the black, sooty coating inside your furnace as the excess natural gas is burned.
If your exchanger is emitting or leaking out enough gas to cause discolorations, there is a serious risk of carbon monoxide gas being spread throughout your house that could cause health issues for you and your family. Eventually, this could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning if you do not have your furnace inspected and repaired by a technician.
If you notice any of the above signs, your gas furnace's heat exchanger may be going bad and should be fixed before it puts your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and gas asphyxiation. Contact a heating repair service immediately so that they can send out a technician to diagnose the problem and take the necessary steps to fix your furnace.
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