Troubleshooting Tips for Your Home’s Electric Furnace

Troubleshooting Tips for Your Home's Electric FurnaceAbout one-third of homes in the U.S. contain an electric furnace. Due largely to their low up-front purchase price, electric central heating units have actually increased market share slightly in recent years, despite the declining cost of natural gas. Electric furnaces are also among the most mechanically simple heating units available.

While actual furnace repair should always be left to a qualified HVAC technician, a few troubleshooting techniques may help you describe the problem more accurately to the service professional, so he can recommend repairs or replacements.

Furnace Won’t Start or There’s No Heat

If your unit shows no signs of life—or won’t blow hot air—first check the thermostat to make sure it’s set to “heat” and that the desired temperature setting is at least 5 degrees above present room temperature. If this doesn’t produce results, look at the circuit breakers in your main electrical panel for a tripped breaker. If you find any breakers or reset buttons on your furnace, reset it and try again. No luck? It’s time to call a professional.

Non-Stop Blower Operation

You should be able to hear and feel the blower cycle on and off regularly as your thermostat signals for heat. If your blower runs continuously, operating costs can spiral and wear out components. Try toggling the thermostat switch to “off,” and then to “auto,” allowing a minute in each mode for the unit to respond. If the blower remains on, you’ll need to make a service call ASAP.

Excessive Noise

In an electric furnace, noise can only come from moving parts like the blower fan or associated drive belt and pulley. If you have access to the air handler, visually evaluate the condition of the blower drive belt, particularly looking for excessive wear or stretching. This pretty much exhausts your DIY options, so from here on, consult an HVAC service provider.

For a professional approach to electric furnace troubleshooting and repair, contact Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve been serving Wabash Valley since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana 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.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Nenov Brothers Images/Shutterstock”

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