Many people discover that their furnace's heat exchanger is failing because their furnace keeps shutting down or short cycling. Furnaces contain numerous safety devices to protect you and your home, including flame roll-out and high limit sensors that can trip and stop your furnace from operating. When one of these sensors shuts your furnace down, it's usually for a good reason.
Unfortunately, a faulty heat exchanger is one possible reason these safety switches may trigger. Once you learn that your furnace's heat exchanger is failing, you'll probably start thinking about repairing or replacing it. Unfortunately, this approach is usually a bad idea. Keep reading to learn three reasons why you'll probably need a new furnace if your heat exchanger goes out.
If your furnace is out of warranty, you will probably pay well over one thousand dollars for a heat exchanger replacement. This eye-watering repair bill can set you back more than some furnace units. While it's never fun to throw away an appliance that still has some life left, the high cost of a heat exchanger replacement makes this prospect potentially much costlier over the long run.
You'll also need to remember that newer furnaces are much more efficient than older models. If your furnace is old enough for its heat exchanger to crack, there's a good chance you can upgrade to a much more efficient unit. These energy savings will push the cost balance even further in favor of replacing your furnace instead of repairing your old heat exchanger.
Heat exchangers are the heart of your furnace. The heat exchanger is the most expensive and vital component in the unit, and even low-quality furnaces rarely have heat exchangers that fail early. Many manufacturers even warranty the heat exchanger for much longer than other components in the furnace.
In other words, a furnace with a cracked heat exchanger likely has other issues. The older your furnace, the more likely you will spend money on other repairs. Replacing your heat exchanger might get the unit running again, but it's unlikely to be the last repair in your furnace's future. These costs can quickly add up and exceed the price of installing a new furnace.
A heat exchanger may cost a substantial fraction of the price of a new furnace, but it probably won't carry the same extended warranty as a new furnace. You also won't have a warranty on the other components in your aging furnace. While your new heat exchanger shouldn't fail, the possibility still exists of facing an equally expensive repair sometime in the next few years.
For these reasons, replacing your furnace is typically the best course of action when a heat exchanger fails. While it might be sad to see your old heater go, you'll get to enjoy the reliability and efficiency that comes with owning a much newer furnace.
Contact an HVAC contractor for more information about furnace replacement.