If your HVAC contractor red-tagged your furnace, would you trust his or her judgment call? Red-tagging, which often occurs as a result of a cracked heat exchanger, is an expensive problem and should be treated with careful consideration. By educating yourself on what constitutes a red-tagged furnace, you can feel confident in your contractor’s decision and take steps to remedy the situation.
When should a furnace be red-tagged?
When a furnace is red-tagged — or taken out of commission — it’s likely to be because of a cracked heat exchanger. This furnace component consists of the metal barrier which separates the flame from the airstream. When serious cracks develop, your household could suffer from health problems associated with combustion particles being released into the air or could fall victim to carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s important to understand, however, that not all cracks constitute red-tagging. It’s not uncommon for heat exchangers to develop hairline fractures over time, and these are usually benign.
If your contractor notes cracks in your heat exchanger, ask him or her to show them to you. A crack is considered severe when light can pass through it or when the metal around it has buckled. A reputable contractor will not hesitate to point to the problem areas and show you that the cracks are serious enough to justify a red-tagged furnace.
What are my options?
If a cracked heat exchanger has resulted in a red-tagged furnace, you have two choices: either replace the heat exchanger or replace the entire furnace. At first glance, the former seems to be the best option, but the replacement of the heat exchanger component is only practical when the part is 100 percent covered under manufacturer warranty and your furnace is still relatively new. In most cases, replacing your furnace is the smartest and most economical choice. Not only will you have the assurance of a safer system, but new energy-efficiency features will enable you to save more money in the long run.
For more advice on handling a red-tagged furnace, contact us at Powers Heating & Air. We’re proud to serve residents of Peachtree City and surrounding areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Image courtesy of Shutterstock