The popularity of electric furnaces as heating options for many types of residential housing has risen steadily over the past few decades. Many homeowners prefer electric furnaces, instead of those fueled by gas or oil, to free themselves from paying for fuel, in addition to electricity, or to eliminate the need to deal with pipes and supply tanks, as well as potentially dangerous fumes or gas leaks.
Like all furnace types, however, electric furnaces can fail without warning or exhibit other signs that a repair is needed. Homeowners who are currently experiencing some type of problem with their electric furnace can use the following information to help them learn about some common repair issues.
Cycling on and off too quickly
An electric furnace that is operating normally will cycle on and off periodically to maintain the pre-selected thermostat temperature setting that the occupants prefer. If too much cold outside air is introduced, such as when a door or window is left open too long, the furnace will compensate by cycling on more often until the room's temperature is restored.
However, when cycling on and off occurs rapidly, with no apparent cause, homeowners should immediately suspect that a repair issue has developed with the furnace's fan motor, blower, or thermostat. This type of repair issue should be professionally diagnosed and completed as quickly as possible to prevent unnecessary wear on components and excessive electrical usage.
Little or no heat is produced
An electric furnace that fails to produce heat at a normal level or one that produces no heat at all, even though the unit continues to operate, can be more complicated to diagnose. Wiring damage, failure of the heating element, and even a clogged air filter can cause an electric furnace to cease producing heat or to produce far less than normal amounts of heat. Diagnosing an electric furnace that produces little or no heat can require a thorough professional examination of the unit's electrical system, including wiring, heating element, switches, and connections to determine the problem.
Complete furnace failure
An electric furnace that fails to operate at all may be experiencing a simple power supply failure. Homeowners who find this type of problem should immediately look to see if a control switch has been turned to the off position or if a breaker in the fuse panel may have flipped off.
If neither of these situations exists, homeowners should immediately contact a reputable furnace repair contractor to schedule an emergency repair.
If you have additional questions on furnace repair, reach out to a local HVAC technician.