If a utility company representative or HVAC professional red-tags your furnace, this means that your furnace is disconnected from its power or fuel source and shut down from operation due to it being unsafe to operate. You cannot legally run a red-tagged furnace until the furnace has been professionaly repaired or replaced. Needless to say, this interuption can be a major inconvenience during heating season, when cold weather necessitates the constant use of your furnace.
Approach the solution to your red-tagged furnace dilemma systematically. As a first step, you can get a second opinion on the problem from another HVAC professional. Have the issue correctly diagnosed and get an estimate for the repairs.
One of the most common causes of a red-tagged furnace is a damaged or cracked heat exchanger. This allows carbon monoxide gas to escape into your home, which can quickly create a dangerous and even deadly environment. A furnace heat exchangers is the heating core of the furnace and depending on the age and availability, they may be expensive to replace or in the case that a replacement is not available, a furnace replacement must be considered.
Here are some tips to help you decide:
- If your furnace is less than seven years old, and if there are no other underlying problems with it, repairing it can be more cost effective.
- Have your furnace repaired if it is still under warranty protection from the manufacturer or ask your heating contractor if there is a option to credit any of the heat exchanger toward the replacement of a new more efficient furnace.
- If the repairs would cost less than one-quarter of what you would pay for a new furnace, fixing it is usually a better option.
- If your furnace is more than 10 years old, you should consider replacing it.
- If there were underlying issues with your furnace before it was red-tagged, such as being unreliable, unusual or loud operating noises, uneven levels of heating or rising heating costs, replacing it is probably a better idea.
At Overland Park Heating & Cooling, we understand that a red-tagged furnace can cause stress and worry. We’re here to help you work through it. If you’re facing this or any other home comfort issue, please contact us for assistance.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.