How and Why a Furnace Gets Red Tagged

If you’re looking for bargain, a red tag sale is good. But if you’re trying to heat your home, a red tag on your furnace is bad. In plain language, a furnace red tag means your furnace has been condemned because it’s dangerous to operate. It can be a pretty shocking and traumatic situation for the homeowner. Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air wants you to learn more about what the red tag on a furnace means and why we do it.
It’s never a decision that is made lightly. Our technicians will only red-tag a furnace when their training and experience tell them the situation is life-threatening. The first thing to understand is most furnaces burn natural gas or propane. Both are a cheap and efficient fuel for home heating, fireplaces, water heaters, and clothes dryers. But both forms of fuel can be very dangerous if anything goes wrong.
One common cause for a furnace red tag is a cracked heat exchanger. Until it’s repaired or replaced, a cracked heat exchanger can cause deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s not a chance we can take, and we will explain the risks to you when we decide to use the red tag. The tag clearly states the homeowner is assuming the risk if the furnace is turned back on before repairs are made.
You have our word that under no circumstances will Dixie use the red tag as a way to pressure you into buying a new furnace or making unnecessary repairs. Decisions like this are what we stake our professional reputation on. You are always welcome to seek a second opinion from another HVAC contractor.
It’s not just HVAC contractors. Furnaces and other appliance can be red tagged by the gas company as well. They can also shut off gas service to the entire house with a red tag if an inspection reveals a dangerous situation. Some common problems include:

  • Observable gas leaks of any kind
  • Gas pipe connections don’t meet code
  • Damaging rust on gas tanks or burners
  • Blocked gas vents or flues
  • Malfunctioning gas meter
  • Unauthorized installation of flexible gas lines

The gas company technician will usually do a written description of the problem and list the necessary repairs. In most cases, the gas company will disconnect gas service to the problem area or to the entire property. The owner is responsible for necessary repairs and contacting the gas company for a follow-up inspection. The red tag process and policies for reconnection can vary from company to company. Dixie urges you to check your utility’s website or call them directly for more information.
Red tags are a drastic step and can disrupt lives, but do you really want to risk the alternative and put your family’s lives at risk? It can happen if you ignore the warnings. As the HVAC experts for Auburn, AL and the surrounding area, Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air will work with the homeowner to get the heat and gas service restored as quickly as possible. Like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on our latest offers and get more information like this.