Troubleshooting an Electric Furnace

electrical-wiring-toolsWhile gas furnaces are the most common systems we see in this area, we’re not surprised to service the occasional electric furnace. Electric furnaces, after all, are inexpensive to install and can last for many years, even though electric heat energy may cost quite a bit to produce. That’s made even more frustrating when you run into problems that you can’t pin down.

We want to help you troubleshoot some of those issues in today’s guide. For more information or furnace repair, we strongly recommend reaching out to qualified technicians. However, there may be something you can do on your own.

Trying the Circuit Breaker

Does your furnace refuse to start up at all? First, you should know that, due to a relay switch in the system, it takes a few minutes for a furnace to actually move heat into the home. Once you’ve waited the appropriate time, you might consider that the electric furnace has cost a circuit to trip or a fuse to blow. The first step to take with any furnace (gas or electric) that won’t turn on is to reset the breaker or replace a blown fuse.

What to Double-Check on Your Thermostat

We know that the thermostat was the first thing you checked when you noticed the furnace had stopped working. But if you are not the only one in the home, if you’ve had guests over lately, and especially if you have small children, there may have been an accidental change to the settings recently.

Make sure the fan is set to “auto” so it does not cycle continuously. Check that the thermostat setting is indeed higher than the temperature of the room. And, of course, make sure the switch on the thermostat is set to “heat” and not “cool!”

Why Changing the Filter May Help

If your furnace runs but does not deliver the level of warmth you desire, the problem may be with the air filter. How can this be? While a clean filter protects your system, a dirty filter actually does more harm than good. It blocks airflow from moving into the system, which reduces efficiency and forces the furnace to work overtime, wearing down the components. Change the filter every 1-3 months!

Testing the Fan

Before you call in a technician, you may want to test whether certain components are at fault. You can narrow down the problem by switching the furnace into “fan on” mode and seeing whether the furnace fan operates—in which case you can assume that the heating elements or electrical components are at fault.

Replacing Heating Elements and More

Eventually, the inner components of your electric furnace may need replacement. This includes the heating elements, safety switches, electrical wiring, and more parts that we do not recommend attempting to replace on your own.

Do-it-yourself heating repairs are never recommended, whether for gas or electric heaters. Technicians go through years of experience to learn the ins and outs of all brands and models, and can ensure you get the right part properly fitted into your system.

Schedule service for your gas or electric furnace in Littleton, MA with the experienced folks at Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC.

Need HVAC Service?

Contact the experts at Basnett Plumbing, Heating, AC & Electrical.
Call us at 978-431-2906!