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Why a Furnace Can Be Red-Flagged

Do you enjoy those red tag clearance sales? Sometimes you can find some really good deals. But a red tag on your furnace is bad. If it’s ever happened to you, you know what we’re talking about. While we don’t use an actual red tag at Kotz, we want you to understand how serious “red tagging” a furnace is. A furnace red tag means your furnace has been condemned because it’s dangerous to operate. Kotz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing wants you to learn more about what the red tag on a furnace means and why we do it.

Our technicians will only red-tag a furnace when, in our professional opinion, we believe the situation is life-threatening so it is not a decision we take lightly. Most furnaces burn natural gas or propane. Both are cheap and efficient fuels for home heating, fireplaces, water heaters, and clothes dryers. But both fuels can be very dangerous if anything goes wrong.

Many times it is a cracked heat exchanger that causes us to red tag a furnace. 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. When we place a red tag it clearly states the homeowner is assuming the risk if the furnace is turned back on before repairs are made.

Under no circumstances will Kotz use the red tag as a way to pressure you into buying a new furnace or making unnecessary repairs. We stake our professional reputation on those decisions. You are always welcome to seek a second opinion from another HVAC contractor.

Red tags are not used by just HVAC contractors. A furnace or other appliance can be red tagged by the gas company as well. Utility companies can also shut off gas service to the entire house with a red tag if an inspection reveals a dangerous situation. The gas company technician will usually do a written description of the problem and list the necessary repairs. 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

In those circumstances, the gas company will disconnect gas service to the problem area or to the entire property. The owner is responsible for making the necessary repairs and contacting the gas company for a follow-up inspection. Different gas companies have different policies, so Kotz 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, especially during a Michigan winter. But do you really want to put you and your family’s lives at risk by ignoring a warning about a dangerous situation? As the leading heating and air conditioning company for Clarkston, MI and the surrounding area, Kotz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing 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.

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