What is a Furnace Heat Exchanger, and What Does It Do?

A heat exchanger is part of your furnace and performs two key functions in keeping you and your home nice and warm, all winter long:

  • It provides heat during furnace operation.
  • It houses the combustion gases that are produced when your furnace burns fuel to keep them out of your family’s living spaces.

Essentially, a heat exchanger allows you to enjoy all the benefits of indoor heat without the risk of inhaling dangerous byproducts such as carbon monoxide.

How your heat exchanger works

When your furnace turns on, its burners ignite, and the flames are directed into the heat exchanger.

Once the heat exchanger does what it’s supposed to do, i.e., heat up, the system’s air handler turns on automatically to blow air over the heat exchanger’s outside walls. That allows the heat from the heat exchanger’s outside walls to be – yep, you’ve got it – exchanged with the air that’s being blown over it.

In a nutshell, that’s how your heat exchanger keeps combustion gases out of harm’s way while safely transferring heat from the burners’ flames to the air around you.

How to keep your family safe from harm

Heat exchangers are made of metal, and metal is capable of cracking. Even a small crack in your heat exchanger can allow combustion gases to leak into your living spaces.

And that’s just one more reason why Optimum Air places so much emphasis on thoroughly inspecting your heating system a minimum of once a year. You see, it’s not just about improved operation and lower utility costs. It’s about ensuring your family’s ongoing safety.

Has it been a year or longer since your furnace was last inspected? If so, contact Optimum Air today to schedule service.