A red tag on a furnace unfortunately doesn’t mean it’s on sale. When your furnace has been red-tagged, that means that either your furnace repair technician or someone from the gas or electric company has spotted a problem with your furnace that is endangering the lives of the people in your house. Your furnace has been shut off until the problem can be fixed.
If this has happened to you, you’re probably wondering what to do next. If you’re considering turning your furnace back on, don’t. Not only is it illegal in some circumstances to turn on a red-tagged furnace, but it’s also dangerous. Furnaces get red tagged when they present a fire hazard or have gas or carbon monoxide leaks.
Your two options when dealing with a red tag on your furnace are to repair the furnace or replace it. If your furnace is reasonably new, bought within the last 10 years, repair might be a good option. In particular, if the part that needs to be replaced is still under warranty, you can save yourself a lot of money by simply getting the repair done.
On the other hand, if your furnace has broken down more than once or twice in the last couple of years, it may be wearing out. Furnaces that are more than 15-20 years old aren’t designed for fuel efficiency like modern furnaces. If either of these descriptions fit your old furnace, you will probably save money in the long run by replacing it now.
Modern furnaces are generally smaller, have variable-speed fan motors, and often condense escaping water vapor to prevent heat loss. All of these measures add to fuel efficiency by allowing the furnace to work smarter, not harder. You can determine the fuel efficiency of a modern furnace by looking at the AFUE rating, which shows the percentage of fuel used during a given year. High-efficiency furnaces save money in the long run, making the replacement of an old furnace a good investment.
For questions about your furnace or other HVAC problems in the Metro-East area, contact Ernst Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about red tags and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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