A Red-Tagged Furnace Can Mean A System Replacement: Get Expert Advice
When your trusted HVAC technician does preventive maintenance on your furnace, making sure it’s safe is paramount in his mind. Usually, your technician can quickly remedy any problem. But sometime he might discover a serious problem that jeopardizes your safety, and he might be required to take your furnace out of commission. This is called red tagging. A red-tagged furnace is, very simply, too dangerous to operate and must be shut down.
A cracked heat exchanger is the most common reason a furnace is red tagged. The heat exchanger absorbs heat from the burners in the furnace. Air is then blown across it. The heat is transferred to the air, and the blower sends the heated air into your living space, via your ductwork. A cracked heat exchanger can let harmful exhaust gases, most notably carbon monoxide, leak into your living space.
A heat exchanger can become compromised because of:
- Overheating or extended heat stress.
- Mechanical or physical stress or damage.
- Failure of seams or welds.
- Rust that causes a perforation or thinning.
- Improperly closed seams or manufacturing defects.
- Failed gaskets or seals.
When you have a red-tagged furnace as the result of a cracked heat exchanger, your options are limited. A heat exchanger can be repaired or replaced, but the cost of doing so is often as much or more than an entirely new furnace. An exception is the furnace that’s still under warranty. In that case, the manufacturer may repair or replace the heat exchanger. Go over your options with your HVAC contractor or technician. But do not attempt to reconnect or restart your furnace. Doing so is illegal in some jurisdictions, and it’s dangerous, wherever you live.
For years, Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning has offered professional HVAC sales, maintenance and repair services to its valued customers in Fort Collins and surrounding Colorado communities. Contact us for more information about furnace operation and safety.