Red-Tagged Furnace Options — Repair Versus Replacement
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Red-Tagged Furnace Options — Repair Versus Replacement


If your furnace develops a crack in the heat exchanger, it means you have a “red-tagged” furnace on your hands. A heat exchanger crack is a serious problem. In fact, once a breach is discovered and reported by a technician, the utility company shuts down your furnace and affixes a red tag so you can no longer use it.

This may seem like an unnecessary inconvenience, but it’s for your own safety. After all, heat exchangers contain carbon monoxide gas resulting from combustion. When cracked, this furnace component leaks the noxious gas into your home, which can poison you and your family.

Once your red-tagged furnace has been shut off, you have a choice to make: repair the existing furnace by ordering a new heat exchanger or replace the furnace with a new one. Here are the points to consider before you make your final decision:

  • Cost: Heat exchanger replacement parts vary based on your furnace model, but if the component has a warranty, you don’t need to worry about the cost of the part itself. However, you still need to pay labor fees, which may amount to more than 25 percent of the cost to replace your entire furnace. If this is the case, replacing the red-tagged furnace may be worthwhile.
  • Furnace age: Your furnace may be getting old and have other problems that indicate the end of its life may be approaching. Avoid paying more than you need to by replacing the red-tagged furnace now with a high-efficiency unit that will begin saving you money in energy costs immediately.
  • Time of year: If the breach in the heat exchanger is found in the dead of winter, you may have no other choice than to replace the furnace because heat exchanger parts may take weeks to be shipped in. You can’t go without a furnace for that long in the middle of a Portland winter.

To find an affordable, energy efficient replacement for your red tagged furnace, please contact Roth Heating & Cooling today. We serve residents of the Portland area.

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