A common cause of red-tagged furnaces is an issue with a component of the system called the ‘heat exchanger.’ The heat exchanger transfers heat from the burner flame to the air, which will be circulated throughout your home. Any crack or damage to the heat exchanger can cause carbon monoxide to leak into the air supply of your home. When your HVAC technician spots an issue like this, they are legally required to ‘red-tag your furnace to notify the gas utility company who will shut off your gas if the issue is not fixed within the specified time frame.
However, having your furnace ‘red-tagged doesn’t mean that it is dangerous, but rather not as safe as it should be. It also means that your furnace doesn’t meet the safety standards required by law. If the issue is not addressed soon, it can be an issue for homeowners who are forced to be without heat for the time it takes to fix the furnace.
What to do if your furnace is red-tagged
A red-tagging system is mainly designed for your safety to ensure that any critical safety issues are addressed as soon as possible. While it can be alarming, you need not worry. Forced air-furnaces have many fail-safe mechanisms to ensure it doesn’t become dangerous. You have to figure out how to fix the issue and reinstate the heat in your home. However, the action you will take will depend on how old your furnace is and the problems you have encountered so far.
If you are dealing with an old furnace, say ten years or more, the best action to take is to replace your furnace. Luckily, new furnaces are covered under warranty to aid in case of arising issues in the future. On the other hand, if your furnace is not old and this is your first issue, consider consulting with your local HVAC company and arranging for a repair. Repairing can also be expensive, not to mention purchasing a new one. Make sure to weigh your options and compare the costs.
Signs that you will need to replace your furnace
1. Age of your system
The average lifespan of furnaces ranges from 15-20 years, depending on maintenance and usage. If your furnace is more than ten years, you will have to replace it, but repairing might work if it is less than ten years.
2. Excessive contaminants
If you notice rust, dust, or soot building up in your home, it’s time for a new system.
3. Home humidity problems
During winter, humidity is a major concern for most homeowners, especially those with wooden floors. If the air in your home is dry, your furnace might be the problem.
4. Uneven distribution of heat
If some of the rooms in your house are not heated at all or are colder than others, your furnace might be the cause. You should consider replacing it.
5. Noise, rattles, buzzes, or hums coming from the furnace
If you notice the noise, rattles, buzzes, or hums coming from your furnace, it can be due to cracks or leaks, which calls for replacement.
While it is essential to keep your family warm all winter long, their safety should also matter. Any issue with your furnace can lead to health issues and damage to your drainage system, which means costly repairs.