Mar 2, 2015

Carrier Common Furnace Problems (Premature Heat Exchanger Failure)

About Carrier Brand

Formerly, the Carrier Corporation, now a brand of United Technologies Corporation. UTC recently purchased ICP (International Comfort Products) which is the manufacturer of heating and cooling brands like : Keeprite,  Tempstar, Heil,  Comfortmaker,  Arcoaire. Carrier, Otis, and United Technologies Fire and Security were combined into one subsidiary of UTC in September 2013. Prior to the consolidation, Carrier as a corporation was a manufacturer and distributor of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, as well as a commercial refrigeration and food service equipment industry.

Carrier High Efficiency Gas Furnace Heat Exchanger Issues

One the most common issues found in Carrier high efficiency gas furnaces is corrosion or blockage is their secondary heat exchangers in approximately 5 to 10 years after the original installation date or in other words premature secondary heat exchanger failure. This problem happens due to corrosive nature of condensation water produced during combustion of natural gas and improper design in drainage system which keeps the acidic water in secondary heat exchangers exit point as shown in the picture below and use of improper materials. 
Premature Carrier Heat Exchanger Failure 
Cracked Carrier Heat Exchanger 
Class Action Lawsuit Against Carrier High Efficiency Furnaces    

There were four class action complaints filed in the United States (Washington, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota) and two class action complaints filed in Canada (Ontario & British Columbia) with another being proposed in Quebec. The first lawsuit filed was in Washington State in June 2005. The suit alleged, “From January 1, 1989, Carrier manufactured and sold 90% residential high-efficiency condensing furnaces that contained defective polypropylene laminated condensing heat exchangers and failed prematurely.” (Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer used in wide variety of applications from ropes to bank notes). The products cited in the class action suit include high-efficiency condensing furnaces manufactured after January 1, 1989 with Carrier, Bryant, Payne or Day & Night on the nameplate.

The complaints specified that Carrier manufactured more than three million units with an inferior material in the secondary heat exchangers that may cause premature corrosion and failure. Carrier denies these allegations. Before any of the other complaints could reach fruition, the plaintiffs and Carrier Corp reached a settlement agreement. 

Source: Foundation 2 Rooftop Inc.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon Monoxide is a byproduct of incomplete combustion of fuels such as petroleum and wood. Cracked or corroded gas furnace heat exchangers leak CO and other poisonous gasses into the home living area though air ducts. A damaged or cracked heat exchanger is the cause of the leading cause of carbon monoxide poisoning in North America.

CO Poisoning Prevention  

  • Do annual inspection by Qualified Heating Contractor
  • Do check your CO detector regularly and replace every 3 years
  • Don't block or modify your fuel burning systems vents
  • Don't install fuel burning appliances in tight area or crawl spaces
For more information on high efficiency gas furnaces and efficiency rating or available rebates call Mr. Heat Mechanical Inc. at 905.707.1299