Tip & How-To about Heating & Cooling
The guy that came to fix or service your furnace just came out of your basement and gave you the worst kind of news. Your furnace will have to be replaced because it is unsafe. The heat exchanger is cracked and you will have to buy a new furnace. How do you know that he is telling you the truth? What can you do to check him out and verify his finding?
A cracked heat exchanger is a very serious problem, because it can lead to very serious injury or death if it is not corrected. There are, however some contractors that will use this scare tactic to sell you a new furnace that you really do not need. There are also some things that you need to know so that you can intelligently question the contractor and find out for your self whether the truth is being told to you.
First off find out if the guy is using a combustion analyzer. If he does not use one then throw him out and find a contractor that does. That is your first sign that he is incompetent. Have the contractor show you the CO levels in the air stream of the supply duct. Usually you can see the CO levels rise before the indoor blower kicks on. There are some times that the crack will open later and the air from the supply duct will back into the combustion chamber a alter the flame. If this is happening the combustion levels in the exhaust pipe will change when the blower kicks on. I always check this as part of my safety check on every furnace.
If the contractor cannot show you a crack and can not prove to you with his equipment that you are getting dangerous gases into the home, then tell him to hit the road and try to pull his scam on another person. There are many times that I have been called to double check a furnace for a homeowner that was scared to go to bed, only to find out that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the furnace. I even changed out a furnace one time because another contractor had her so worked up that she could not forget what she heard and wanted the peace of mind, knowing that a new furnace was installed in her home. There was nothing wrong with the old furnace!
Be careful, and make the contractor justify his actions! A good, competent contractor will have no problem doing just that. In fact I love to justify my recommendations, by doing this it sets me apart from the crowd and shows the homeowner that I know exactly what I am doing. Use your knowledge to show those that want to take advantage of you, that you are not taking their **** and you will get another opinion before buy from them.
Posted by D. Floyd... on
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