flame lit under furnace

Gas Heater Problems That Can Turn Dangerous

As heating professionals, we want to make sure that the homeowners we service are taken care of. It’s important to know what can go wrong with your home heating system so you may identify and avoid potentially dangerous problems. We’ve put together a list of common so you can get to know your gas heater.

Cracked Heat Exchanger

Your exchange heater helps your HVAC unit do its job by bringing in cold air and converting it into warm air, which is then used to heat your home. Over time and with extended use, the excessive heat can corrode the exchanger and cause tiny cracks. Cracks allow colorless, odorless, and highly toxic and combustible carbon monoxide to leak into your home. If undetected, a carbon monoxide leak can cause dizziness, nausea, and in extreme cases, death.

One of the only ways to tell if you’re experiencing a cracked heat exchanger is if you hear frequent clicking or rattling noises coming from your heater. Other than that, the only way to catch this issue is through regularly scheduled maintenance. Your Quality Degree, Inc. technician will be able to quickly identify and fix your heat exchanger at your HVAC maintenance tune-up.

Thermocoupler and Pilot Light Issues

A thermocoupler is essentially a temperature sensor. Without getting too technical, two wires at the end of the device measure and provide temperature readings to determine if your pilot light is lit. When working properly, the thermocoupler will shut off your gas line if the pilot light goes out, keeping gas from building up and turning into a fire hazard.

A faulty pilot light or ignition switch will keep the thermocoupler working overtime to keep gas from leaking into your home.

Again, these are issues that your HVAC technician will be able to identify during an inspection and get back to working condition quickly!

Poor Ventilation

An exhaust flue provides a direct exit for the harmful byproducts caused by a gas furnace. These toxic byproducts like carbon monoxide should not linger in your home for long periods of time, so the exhaust flue is an important component of your HVAC system.

A blocked and damaged flue will keep the exhaust fumes in and around your unit, creating an explosion hazard.

A dirty heater is also a cause for poor ventilation. As a homeowner, consider it your responsibility to wipe down your heater and the surrounding area to keep it clear of dust and grime which can be a fire hazard.

Old Air Filters

Ventilation is truly one of the most important pieces of HVAC safety. Air filters catch dirt, allergens, and other debris lingering and keep your home’s air clean. Clogged air filters put a stop to the filtration and make your HVAC unit work harder and cycle more often to make up for the blocked airflow.

Luckily, this is one of the easiest problems to solve and homeowners can take care of it themselves! We recommend you change your air filters at least every three months to keep your unit working smoothly and your air clean!

If You Smell Gas…

Don’t blame it on your husband!

Seriously, though, smelling gas is no small thing to ignore. At the first sign of a gas leak, you should:

  • Open windows and doors for ventilation
  • Evacuate the home
  • Call 911 immediately
  • Alert surrounding neighbors

The best way to avoid these dangerous problems is to be proactive about your heater maintenance. Schedule regular maintenance and checkups with Quality Degree, Inc. so we may catch any issue early on and solve them quickly! Give us a call today at (610) 600-1108.