How can you tell whether a furnace should be replaced? In oil or gas units, the answer can usually be found in the heat exchanger. It is the furnace’s most important component, and its quality pretty much determines the life of the heating plant. Also, how long will you reside in your home.

In most modern gas and oil forced-air furnaces, the heat exchanger is a metal chamber enclosing the burners In time, the exchangers walls may corrode, crack or perforate, allowing smoke, dirt and carbon monoxide to escape Heat exchangers usually can’t be replaced, you’ll probably need a new furnace if yours is defective Motors, burners and blowers, however, can generally be replaced or repaired

Cracks or holes can be hard to see, but there are tests that can spot them If you have any doubts, have your heating contractor check out your system The furnace should be replaced if openings are discovered It’s illegal to weld openings in most states.