A Red-Tagged Furnace Presents A Significant Danger, So Know What To Do Next

by Greg Leisgang on March 14, 2012

Posted in: Furnaces

red tagged furnace optionsSome announcements in life have a way of snapping you to attention, such as when a utility company technician tells you that your furnace must be "red-tagged." Even if you don't know what this means, it just doesn't sound good.

In this case, your instincts are correct: A red-tagged furnace presents a significant danger to your health and well-being, so it's important to know what to do next. 

First, try not to panic: A solution is in sight. Understand that your furnace has been red-tagged because there is a crack or breach in the heat exchanger, which is one of the most important component of your furnace. Your furnace is as dependent on the heat exchanger as your car is on its engine. It cannot operate without it.

It also presents a significant danger to you and your family, because a cracked heat exchanger will leak hazardous carbon monoxide into your Cincinnati home. So, by law, the technician is required to shut your system down.

Keep in mind that you did not do anything to create this problem, other than probably owning a furnace that is more than 15 years old. Most cracks occur because of the normal expansion and contraction of metal that occurs over time, as the heat exchanger heats up and cools down.

Next, it's decision time: You must either replace the heat exchanger or buy a new furnace. The former may make sense if:

  • Your furnace is less than 10 years old.
  • The heat exchanger is still covered by warranty.
  • The cost of the repair represents less than 25 percent of the cost of a new furnace. Keep in mind that this repair will be labor-intensive because the furnace must be taken apart.

On the other hand, a new furnace may be the more cost-efficient choice if:

  • Your furnace is more than 7 years old.
  • As an older model, your furnace also operates at low efficiency. 

Rest assured that the furnace experts at Tri-County Heating & Cooling are ready and able to help you navigate this important decision. We'll size up the condition of your furnace and present you with the safest, most economical choice. And, of course, we guarantee our work for your ongoing peace of mind.

Image via Shutterstock.

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