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Cold weather is on the way to Wilmette, IL, which means it’s time to check your furnace. The furnace’s combustion or burning chamber is where fuel is burned and converted into heat. Keep reading for three signs that the chamber could be compromised.

Visible Rust or Soot

Turn off power to the furnace. Open the combustion chamber. Shine a flashlight across all the surfaces. If you see any visible rust, the metal of the combustion chamber has worn out. This requires repairs by a qualified furnace technician. If you see a sooty buildup in the chamber, air from your home could be getting inside the chamber. The soot is from dust and other particles entering the chamber. You’ll need a furnace technician to inspect the furnace before using it.

Cracked Metal

Metal expands when it’s hot, and it contracts when it cools. During each heating cycle performed by your furnace, the metal expands. After a typical furnace lifespan of 20 years, the expansion and contraction of the metal in the chamber can lead to cracks. The cracks allow air from your home and the combustion chamber to mix, which could lead to a dangerous situation of carbon monoxide poisoning. An alarm from your carbon monoxide detector is another sign that your combustion chamber could be compromised. A cracked combustion chamber requires an urgent repair, explains the Department of Energy.

Unusual Flame Behavior

Most combustion chambers have a small window through which you can look. During a heating cycle, observe the flame. If it flickers, dances, or jumps, the combustion gases are leaking out of the chamber. These waste gases could mix with the warmed air sent into your home’s ducts, which is a dangerous situation. If you notice any unusual behavior with the flame, you’ll need a prompt inspection.

For more information about the signs of a compromised furnace combustion chamber, take a look at Assurance Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.’s furnace repair services, or call our qualified furnace technician today.

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