We credit our Upper Township, NJ homeowner with making lemonade out of what could have been some really sour lemons: When he needed an emergency furnace replacement, he took the opportunity to make some major upgrades to his home’s comfort and efficiency. 

It all started with a call to Broadley’s because the heat wouldn’t turn on. It turned out he had a cracked heat exchanger, which meant a replacement was his best solution. 

Instead of just going with another standard furnace, our homeowner decided to invest in a high-efficiency furnace and tankless water heater. These models would use less gas than the previous ones, which would lower his bills. And, they’d make his home more comfortable.

In this case study, we’ll go over: 

  • Why The Heater Wouldn’t Turn On
  • Why A Cracked Heat Exchanger Is Bad
  • How A High Efficiency Furnace Saves You Money
  • Benefits Of Tankless Water Heaters

Three Easy Things To Check When Your Heater Blows Cold Air

Problem: The furnace in this Upper Township, NJ home wouldn’t start because it had a cracked heat exchanger. Due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, he would need a new furnace. 

Solution: Homeowner wanted to go with a high-efficiency furnace replacement. Installed at Bryant Two-Stage furnace and replaced old standard=efficiency water heater with a Navien tankless water heater. 

Why Wouldn’t The Heater Turn On? 

In this case, the heater wouldn’t turn on because the heat exchanger kept overheating. Yes, even though a furnace generates heat, it’s not designed to house it. This one kept hitting the failsafe temperature: The inside hit 175 degrees, and so it shut off. Older Furnace With A Cracked Heat Exchanger In Upper Township, NJ

Now, this likely happened a few times in the past, but the homeowner didn’t notice because it turned back on. 

That’s usually what happens: It gets too hot and shuts off. Then, the system runs the fan only, drawing cooler air from the house, to bring down the temperature. 

This time, however, it shut off three times in a row. At that point, the failsafe kicked in and kept it off. That way, our homeowner knew he had to call a professional. 

And the bad news was that now he had a cracked heat exchanger. The excess stress from the high temperatures — and sudden swings from hot to cold — caused a break. Guide To Common Furnace Problems

Why Is A Cracked Heat Exchanger Bad?

The heat exchanger is the part of your furnace where the fuel burns and converts to heat.  When this part cracks, it can create a hazardous situation. Or, at the least, it prevents the system from heating your home. 

The combustion process produces carbon monoxide, or CO, in your heater. As we all know today, carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, tasteless — and deadly.

When everything’s in good shape, that CO passes through the exhaust system safely. When there’s a crack, however, it can seep out into your home. 

While it’s possible to replace the exchanger, it’s very labor-intensive and expensive. And, repairing’s not an option: Even if we welded it, there’s no guarantee it will hold. 

That’s why our tech had to break the bad news to our homeowner: His safest course of action was a new furnace. This one was getting older, and it wasn’t worth the money to replace the part. Even if they did, the furnace still wouldn’t last more than a few more years. 

But, the story has a happier ending than that! Our homeowner took this as an opportunity to reduce his energy bills and make his home more comfortable.

 Why You Can't Repair Or Replace A Heat Exchanger

How A High Efficiency Furnace Saves You Money

Instead of going with another “standard” furnace, our homeowner decided to upgrade to a high-efficiency furnace. His thinking was that if he had to invest in a new model, he would spend a little more upfront to save a lot of money in the long run. 

IN this case, he went with a new Bryant furnace that had a 96 percent  AFUE. That means that of all the gas it takes in, the system only loses four percent of it through exhaust.

By contrast, his old system was 80 percent — it wasted 20 percent of the gas it used. And, that was when it was working at its peak. Over the years, it lost efficiency and needed more gas to do the job. 

This means our homeowner is using much less gas — and paying much less each month on his South Jersey Gas bill. 

Now, when our homeowner told us what he had in mind,  we let him know that there’d be a problem with his water heater.

That appliance and his furnace used the same exhaust system, and we’d have to upgrade the exhaust pipe to PVC for the furnace he wanted. It wouldn’t be compatible with the water heater. 

But, our homeowner already had his eye on the solution: A tankless water heater. 

Case Study: Tankless Water Heater Replacement In Upper Township, NJ

Benefits Of A Tankless Water Heater 

Unlike a conventional tank system, a tankless water heater provides unlimited hot water and uses less gas than a tank. These new systems do this because they don’t store dozens of gallons water and keep them warm all the time. 

Tankless Water Heater Installation In Upper Township, NJ

Instead, a tankless water heater only kicks on once you turn on a faucet or tap. As water comes through the pipes, it passes through the heater, which warms it up instantly. 

This meant the family of four who lived here wouldn’t have to cut down their shower times anymore! With no tank to run out of hot water, they could all take as long as they liked without the last person getting a cold wash. 

And, this process also uses much less gas than the conventional system. That’s because our homeowner won’t have to pay for a heater to keep all that water warm all the time. Conventional Hot Water Heater Vs. Tankless

High-Efficiency Furnace And Tankless Water Heater Installations In South Jersey

If you’re ready to upgrade the HVAC system in your South Jersey home, call or email us here at Broadley’s! With over a century of service in Upper Township, Marmora, Ocean City, and other South Jersey towns, we’re here to help make your home more comfortable and your energy bills much lower.