About a month ago I received a call from a long time friend of mine asking if we could come over to his home for a routine furnace checkup. Even though I have known him for almost 50 years, I can’t remember the last time we looked at his furnace, if ever.

My technician went out and began the checkup. Part of a checkup requires pulling the main burner and washing the dirt and dust from it. Once the burner is removed we can then inspect the heat exchanger visually from the inside for rust, cracks, or holes. He found chunks of cast iron in bottom of the exchanger under the burner. Further inspection revealed several cracks and two large holes the size of a quarter or larger in the heat exchanger.

The point of this story is the fact that this furnace was operating in such poor condition that it was a fire hazard, very inefficient and even worse was producing enough carbon monoxide to seriously hurt or kill the people in this household. It kind of hits home when it is someone you know.

Remember, time flies and what you think has been done two years ago is in reality probably five to eight years ago or more. If you have not had you furnace professionally looked at within the last few years, have it inspected soon.

Make sure the company inspecting it is doing more than just a 15 minute, superficial cleaning. Heat exchangers can only be inspected properly with a color camera scope, or preferably with a UV dye and special camera that will uncover even the smallest signs of cracking or rust in the exchanger. Also a CO test must be performed at the end of the checkup to ensure proper combustion.

Be safe this winter and get it inspected.