Think of any phrase with "red" in it: "red
" "red flag
." None of those are good news!
And if you're a homeowner in greater Toronto
and your furnace gets
"red-tagged," generally this can be a costly piece of bad
Back in the day, if your furnace was condemned, an actual tag of
red paper was stuck onto the furnace to show that you weren't
allowed to use it.
Nowadays, if you're unlucky enough to have your furnace, boiler or
water heater deemed unsafe, you're just given an official looking
form, and the gas is locked to prevent fuelling of your
, fireplace or water tank.
What Does a Red-Tagged Furnace Mean?
No HVAC technician ever likes to tell a homeowner that their furnace
fireplace or water heater has to be red-tagged. But they're
required by law to do it, if they find that the equipment is in
dangerous condition and poses a threat to residents or
If a qualified furnace technician spots a hazardous furnace,
fireplace or hot water tank (any gas appliance), he must
it. It's not an optional step; he would be
breaking Ontario's safety laws
if he let a potentially
dangerous situation continue.
More to the point, ignoring the rules could lead to a
-which could lead to injury or even
death, because of malfunctioning gas appliance
If anything went wrong with your furnace-if there's a cracked
, or a rusted vent pipe, or insufficient
combustion, or a poor quality installation
-it could be
a real hazard.
In cases where there is clear and present danger, the gas
technician is required by the Technical Standards and Safety
) to issue a furnace red tag. That
means the appliance has to be shut down completely, and the gas
turned off. The homeowner is stuck without their furnace (or boiler
or heater) until they repair-or more usually, replace-the
equipment. That's not a position anybody wants to be in.
There are several levels of authority involved: the contractor who
makes the decision (such as AtlasCare
), the gas
utility (Enbridge Gas
, Union Gas
the safety regulations
of the TSSA-which is
responsible for governing home safety in Ontario.
Only when the red tag situation has been taken care of, and the
hazardous appliance repaired or replaced, can the heating company
notify the gas contractor that corrective action has been taken. At
that time, the red tag
can be removed.
How NOT to Get Your Furnace Red-Tagged
Most furnaces in greater Toronto and Hamilton have an effective
life of 15-20 years. But as with any lifespan, organic or
mechanical, the exact length depends on how much care is expended
to keep things running smoothly.
It's like taking care of your own health: regular medical checkups
are good for you, and regular furnace maintenance
is good for
your home-comfort equipment!
With AtlasCare on your side, and regular greater Toronto
from our team of Healthy Home Technicians,
you can avoid the trauma of having a malfunctioning furnace
Call AtlasCare for "Red Tag" Furnace
If another contractor ever red-tags your furnace, please call
AtlasCare for a second opinion.
Unfortunately, it's not unheard of for unscrupulous operators to
tell homeowners that "their heat exchanger is
"-just to sell them a new furnace.
If you even suspect that this might be the case, just contact our
greater Toronto furnace specialists
perform a professional assessment of your furnace, and give you an
honest opinion and professional assessment.
And if it turns out that you DO need a new furnace, check out our
AtlasCare lineup of new high-efficiency gas
Call AtlasCare for all Your Furnace Maintenance
If your furnace is an older model, and if you want to avoid the
danger of finding yourself in a "red tag furnace emergency
," the best call
you can make is to our licensed technicians at AtlasCare.
For regular and
emergency furnace service
, anywhere in Toronto or
, just contact us: 416-626-1785, or 905-829-1296. Or
fill in our online service form
, and we'll be happy to
get in touch with you right away.