If you have recently had your furnace inspected by an HVAC technician or the gas company and it ends up red-tagged, you could be facing some tough decisions. Tagged furnaces are those with cracks in the heat exchanger that can leak carbon monoxide (CO) — a lethal gas — into your home. Without gas or electricity to power the furnace, you could be looking at a stretch of cold temperatures in your home until you fix or replace the unit.

The first thing to do when you have a tagged furnace is to get a second opinion about the heat exchanger. Although it doesn’t happen often, sometimes technicians can make mistakes when evaluating the safety of your system. If you know and trust an HVAC service, call them to verify the first assessment.

When you do have cracks in the equipment, check your warranty information for the furnace. If the heat exchanger is still covered, ask the HVAC company to contact the manufacturer for the specifics on coverage. A warranty that covers parts and labor takes the financial burden off you and it’s worth going ahead with the repair. If the warranty doesn’t cover labor, you could be looking at substantial out-of-pocket costs to fix a furnace that isn’t as efficient as recent models. It may not be worth it to fix a furnace that costs you a lot to operate in the first place. If the warranty has expired and it’ll take weeks to get a new heat exchanger, you’ll incur not only the cost of the part and labor, but you’ll also probably have to vacate your home until the parts arrive and can be installed.

When this happens, it may be worth your time to consider a furnace replacement to achieve higher energy efficiency instead of investing in equipment that may have reached the end of its useful life.

A tagged furnace is a serious situation. We at Pipe Works Services can inspect your furnace, give you trustworthy advice and help you find the best solution to your fixing or replacing your furnace. Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Pipe Works Services serves Chatham, NJ, and the surrounding areas.

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