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What is a Red Tagged Furnace?

what is a red tagged furnace

Your furnace is an essential part of your HVAC system, especially during the colder months. Like with any other major mechanical appliance in your home, furnaces can develop problems and malfunction. If you have never dealt with a red tagged furnace there is a chance you will, as the typical lifespan of a furnace is between 10 and 20 years. When a furnace is deemed unsafe for use as it poses a danger to the occupants of a home, it may be red tagged. A red tagged furnace is a serious safety hazard that should not be ignored. Immediately shut down your furnace until you complete furnace repairs or furnace replacement. A red tagged furnace is a furnace that has been deemed unsafe to operate by a qualified HVAC professional or someone from the utility company. In this article we will discuss some common reasons why a furnace might be red tagged.

Cracked Heat Exchanger

The most common reason for a red tagged furnace is due to a crack in the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is a set of tubes or coils looped inside the furnace responsible for heating the air. Just like with other mechanical components, overtime a heat exchanger can develop problems.  Heat exchangers contain the flue gas, so it is important there are no holes, cracks, or other signs of deterioration. If it cracks it can potentially leak carbon monoxide and other harmful by-products that can lead to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be fatal if inhaled in high concentrations. Older, poorly maintained furnaces can cause carbon monoxide to be released into the home, posing a serious safety risk for those in the home making it unsafe to operate.

Fire Hazards

Damaged electrical components or issues with burners, or gas valve could pose a fire hazard.  A system that is not functioning properly due to a faulty ignition system is an unsafe condition related to the flame and so could pose a fire hazard. Call for furnace repair at the first sign of trouble to prevent a complete breakdown.

Gas Leaks

Another reason for a red tagged furnace is due to a leak in the gas pipe. It is possible for the inspector to shut off the gas to the home and require a fix for the gas leak before it is turned on again.

Combustion Process Issues

Combustion issues because of problems with the delivery system such as pipes, tubing, tanks and valves. This can also lead to ventilation issues and a furnace that is not properly vented because of a blocked vent or damaged vent pipe can cause a buildup of dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide.

General Furnace Issues

Other possible issues that may lead to a red tagged furnace could be due to lack of safety features such as no carbon monoxide detector, damaging rust on burners, malfunctioning gas meter, or unauthorized installation of flex gas lines.

What to Do if Your Furnace is Red Tagged

If your furnace is red tagged do not continue using it. Continued operation of a red tagged furnace puts you and your family in danger. Next we recommend you obtain a second opinion and as much information as possible from an HVAC professional to help you make a smart and informed decision to fix the issue. You should receive multiple options with a range of pricing to address the furnace issue. If the furnace has been red tagged due to a cracked heat exchanger, replacing the heat exchanger can be a costly repair. We advise if the heat exchanger is still under manufacturer warranty and the heater repair is significantly less than furnace replacement, consider heat exchanger replacement although you may still have to pay for installation labor. Otherwise, a new furnace may be your best option.  Be wary of businesses pressuring for same day repairs or worse installation as it may be a sign of a scam. Reputable businesses will offer you multiple options and encourage you to take your time to determine what option works best for you. We also recommend you ask as many questions as possible that you feel are necessary to learn more about the repair process.

Contact LA Construction, Heating and Air

LA Construction, Heating and Air is a licensed and certified HVAC company. We understand how inconvenient a red tagged furnace can be, especially during the colder season. Our team of technicians can provide you with options for repair or furnace replacement for your red-tagged furnace to ensure your home is warm and safe as soon as possible.  

We also offer routine furnace maintenance services to keep your furnace running properly and efficiently this winter. Routine furnace maintenance can help detect minor issues before they cause a major breakdown or worse lead to early furnace replacement. Give us a call today or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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