What Does a Red Tag Mean?

We tag people on social media. Graffiti artists tag train cars. Building inspectors and utility company technicians tag properties.

No one wants their home tagged, especially with a red tag. It’s a bold statement letting the world know you’ve done something wrong. Or is it?

In today’s post, we’re answering the question most homeowners don’t even think about until they’re tagged. What is a red tag, and even more critical, what can you do to remove it?

What Is a Red Tag?

City or regional building inspectors issue red tags when a homeowner doesn’t apply for permits when starting certain home improvement projects. This post deals solely with red-tagged appliances—specifically, furnaces.

Usually, if you have a furnace with a red tag, it’s because a technician from your gas company dropped by and found a safety issue. Referring to a furnace as red-tagged makes it sound like gas company representatives carry red tags and stick them on bad appliances.

While you may get a red paper tag stuck on your furnace, the term red-tagging means the gas company determines your furnace isn’t safe and shuts it off.

Reasons for Red Tagging a Furnace

Beyond ensuring you have access to natural gas, the primary role of a gas company technician is detecting and mitigating unsafe conditions associated with natural gas usage.

If a technician from your gas company visits your home for a meter reading, to turn on the gas when you move in, or because someone reported smelling gas, they should have an eye open for potential safety issues.

Examples of things that could result in a red-tagged furnace include:

  • Improper Installation
  • Cracked Heat Exchanger
  • Leaking Furnace Flue

The worst-case scenario is a damaged or cracked heat exchanger. If your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, it may allow carbon monoxide to escape and circulate inside your home.

Red Tag Removal

Depending on the rules of the gas company in your area, a red tag could mean the technician immediately shuts your furnace off. The technician may inform you that you have a certain number of days to make repairs.

You can’t ignore a red-tagged furnace, especially during the winter. What you shouldn’t do is attempt to make repairs on your own. What you can do is contact a qualified HVAC company and schedule an inspection and repair.

Your HVAC technician will determine if you can repair the furnace, or if the issue is severe enough to warrant a total replacement.

After you make the repair or install a new furnace, the gas company technician will come back and inspect the repairs. If they’ve shut off gas to your home, they will restore service.

Need to Schedule Furnace Repairs?

Now that we’ve answered the question of what is a red tag, you know what to do if you end up with one,

For assistance with a red tag or any other HVAC repair issue, contact us today. Call  (970) 635-0266 or email Matthew.siemens@yahoo.com.

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