Showing posts with label tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tips. Show all posts

Cracked Heat Exchanger?

No you DO NOT have a cracked heat exchanger, well, maybe!

Six times out of ten you have been unintentionally mislead as a ploy for a contractor to sell you equipment. In the world of HVAC and other service industry jobs, usually builder trade oriented, there is a thing called a CO/OP. Have you ever wondered why you see a company, for sake of argument.... "ABC 123 Plumbing and Heating and such" ......( ... disclaimer... I hope I just made that up but if this is your business name then Please Except My Apologies I am not referring to you ) with pictures of brand name equipment all over their phone book ads, Web sites, and Trucks? This is because they are receiving ad money from those manufacturers in turn for guaranteeing them that they will sell at least 50,000 dollars per year in equipment sales. So, What's that to me you ask? It means that MOST COMPANIES TAKE OUT A LOAN, purchase all 50,000 dollars worth of Furnaces and Air Conditioners at one time and then send out a sales team to sell, sell, sell. 
Now don't get me wrong. The more you buy as a contractor from your supplier the more free gifts you get as a contractor, like, Winter jackets, T-Shirts, Tools, Air purifier systems, other equipment, etc.... But free to the contractor doesn't always mean free to you, the customer of the contractor. These companies need to do everything that they can in order to sell all of the equipment that they have pre-purchased not only to pay back the loans that they took out in order to purchase that equipment, but they also need to get rid of their inventory before tax time or else they are stuck paying out even more money in inventory tax


Common sense should tell you that if a company has a team of individuals that their only purpose is to bid jobs, ( that they don't even know how to install ), then all they are interested in is selling you equipment and not asking the real question.... Do you NEED or even Want the equipment being offered.

What Does This Mean To Me?
This means that when the service tech comes out to your home or place of business to do a routine maintenance check up, they inspect the Heat Exchanger with a camera usually scratching the surface just enough to make it look like a crack and claiming that you need a replacement. Most of these techs don't know any better nor do they probably realize that they just scratched the chamber themselves. They have been trained by the colleges that any unit over ten years of age is not as efficient and  "probably has a cracked heat exchanger due to common wear and tear and should be replaced". A more thorough investigation of the scratch would reveal the fact that it was just a scuff of the residual deposits that always accumulate in the exchange chamber and should be cleaned out anyways. However, there are those times when in reality you have a real crack in your exchanger and you really should replace it as in the picture below. 

That doesn't mean that you have to replace the entire unit. It is what I would usually recommend in these cases but that might not be the most economical solution for you at that time..... so ......... most of the furnaces on the market have a warranty. That warranty usually is 5 years for standard parts and 20 years to a lifetime warranty on the heat exchanger.
 Now you do have options.
1. you could find a company that would be willing to replace the heat exchanger for a fee if yours is still under warranty or 
2. Replace the entire unit. 

If your furnace truly has a crack in the exchanger it is usually caused by a couple of different things that you need to be aware of.
1. Too much heat in the chamber and plenum which means,
a. Your furnace wasn't serviced regularly like it should have been.
b. The filter wasn't changed when it needed to be causing the unit to not receive the proper air flow across the exchanger.
c. improperly sized ducktwork.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, get a second opinion before you commit to a purchase, and by all means make them definitively show you for yourself the actual crack if at all possible.

Please stop paying for their advertising, trucks, free jackets and things you DO NOT need. 
Only purchase when you know that you need to or when it is the better decision to do so.