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Red-Tagged Furnace: Making A Smart Choice When You Need To Act Fast

Red-Tagged Furnace: Making A Smart Choice When You Need To Act FastEven in warm areas of the country such as Pasadena, a furnace is an important factor in keeping homes warm during cool weather. If your furnace has been red-tagged, you may be tempted to make some rash decisions in order to get the furnace working and warming the house again. However, now is a time to stay calm and make good choices even when you need to act fast.

A red-tagged furnace is a unit inspected by a professional technician and marked unsafe due to damage — a cracked heat exchanger, for example. Although the crack may be very small, any crack has the potential to release dangerous carbon monoxide fumes into the air. Moreover, since carbon monoxide has no smell, color or taste, you will not know if the furnace is leaking. This is why a technician will usually disable the power and gas supply, and mark the unit as a red-tagged furnace.

Although the lack of heat in your home may leave you frustrated, the best course of action is determine if you can have the heat exchanger replaced or if the entire furnace requires replacement instead. Have at least one other HVAC technician check the furnace so that you have more than one professional opinion to use, and look into costs for both a new heat exchanger and a new furnace.

Note that heat exchangers are typically very expensive and if your furnace is more than 10 years old, replacing the entire unit may make more sense than repairing the old unit. In addition, if the current furnace is not energy-efficient, this might be your chance to upgrade to a high-efficiency furnace that will help lower your heating costs over the long term.

Call your furnace manufacturer and discuss the current warranty on the furnace to help determine your options. Furnaces often come with a lifetime warranty on the heat exchanger, and this may factor into your decision.

For more information on how to handle a red-tagged furnace quickly and wisely, contact us at Air-Tro Inc. We have been serving the Pasadena area since 1969.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about red-tagged furnaces and other HVAC topics, visit our website.

Air-Tro Inc. services the greater Los Angeles area as well as the metro areas of Riverside and San Bernardino County

Preventative Maintenance image via Shutterstock