Red-Tagged Furnaces: What Should You Do?

When HVAC companies red-tag a furnace, this means it’s not safe for use during the winter season. If your furnace is your only source of heating, you have to make sure that it’s in good working order before the season begins. In today’s post, the HVAC contractors at Stone Heating and Air discuss what causes furnaces to be red-tagged, and what you can do to prevent this.

Red-Tagged Furnaces

How Do Furnaces Get Red-Tagged?

Red tags or red warnings apply specifically to gas appliances. It’s required by law for red tags to be issued if a hazard is identified in said appliance. A gas furnace may be red-tagged if it’s found to be leaking carbon monoxide, to be improperly combusting or to have a damaged or broken heat exchanger. A heating technician that finds these issues while performing repairs or a routine inspection will need to issue a red tag until the problem has been corrected.

What to Do If Your Furnace Receives a Red Tag

If your furnace receives a red tag, you must shut it down immediately and contact your HVAC technician, who will work with you to identify a solution. The following are among the most common solutions for a red-tagged furnace provided by home heating companies:

  • Heat exchanger replacement. The heat exchanger in a furnace is functionally similar to condenser coils in other types of HVAC systems. Heat from combustion passes on one side of the exchanger, then air to be heated on the other. A cracked heat exchanger is dangerous because combustion products like carbon monoxide can enter the home’s living areas, and therefore must be replaced before the furnace can be used again. Some of the common signs of a cracked heat exchanger include corrosion, soot buildup and a yellow flame. A furnace pilot light should have a steady blue flame.

  • Furnace replacement. A furnace may require replacement depending on certain factors like age, condition and level of maintenance. HVAC technicians will recommend replacement if repairs to the furnace are impractical. For example, perhaps replacement parts would be difficult to obtain or repairs would add no more than a year or two to its service life. If your HVAC technician recommends replacement, consider this as an opportunity to invest in a more efficient heating system.

Stone Heating and Air is one of the trusted heating and air conditioning companies serving customers from Central Point, Oregon, to the California border. Give us a call at (541) 855-5521. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.

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