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What Is a Heat Exchanger?


How are you ever supposed to fix a computer if you don’t know what a processor is? Or, how are you ever going to figure out the blueprints for that new deck you want to build if you don’t know how to build it up to code? Our society puts a lot of pressure on people to just “know” things without telling them exactly where to find that valuable information. Unless you pay a lot of money to go to a special school, it might be hard to find good, reliable, trustworthy information on the web.

Luckily, we deal with a lot of people on a regular basis who need furnace repair in Grand Rapids, MI. Many of these people don’t know anything about their heating systems, and while some would like to keep it that way, others are begging us for information. So, let’s discuss what your furnace’s heat exchanger is and why it matters going forward.

The Heat Exchanger

Let’s start our blog post off cutting right to the chase. Your furnace works by burning natural gas to create a flame that produces heat. This heat then needs to be distributed throughout your home so you can feel warm and cozy on a frigid Michigan night. There’s just one slight problem:

All of the exhaust from burning that gas is going to flow right into your home and be fatal to breathe in if something doesn’t stop them. That’s where your heat exchanger comes in!

The heat exchanger is a small, clam-shaped apparatus that collects all of the combustion fumes inside of it while the gas is burned. This makes a clear separation between the fresh air in your home and the toxic air filled with fumes from the combustion process. With the heat exchanger in place, your clean home air is heated up and distributed throughout your house, while the fumes are exhausted through a different set of ducts. And voila—your home is warm and cozy while the air is fresh and clean!

Why the Heat Exchanger Is So Important

So, now you might be asking why we decided to dedicate a whole blog post to this small clam-shaped piece of equipment. Well, it’s responsible for keeping your home safe from toxic gases and allowing your furnace to function efficiently. The reason we can call gas-powered furnaces safe is because of this component.

If your furnace starts to rumble, shake, or rattle during its operation, your heat exchanger could be in danger. As it heats up and cools down year after year, the metal that composes this component will begin to weaken. That means that rattling or shaking could potentially crack the heat exchanger and cause it to leak gas, carbon monoxide, or other fumes into your home’s air and cause a safety concern. Your heat exchanger is vital to the safe operation of your furnace, so anything that compromises its functionality really needs to be repaired. Call us if you suspect there’s something wrong and we’ll make sure your heat exchanger remains undamaged!

Contact GRmetro Heating and Cooling Inc for furnace repair that’s done right.

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