Electric Heat Furnaces – Pros and Cons
Heating system is very important in cold areas, especially in the winter. A popular measure to warm up a house in these areas is using a furnace. There are different kinds of furnaces, and they tend to work differently in many ways. This article will introduce you to the electric heat furnace in terms of how it works, its pros and cons, and things you need to know when maintaining it.
1. What is an electric heat furnace?
Electric furnaces are a better option than other types of furnaces in particular areas and under certain circumstances. Similar to gas furnaces in operation, electric furnaces generate heat using electricity rather than gas. This indicates that electric furnaces do not use gas burners, but rather electric heating components.
Electric heat furnaces are an ideal choice for our house on frozen winter days. Are you curious to know how an electric furnace creates warm air for the house? Keep reading to get the answer.
>> Read more: Types of heating system for home
2. How does an electric furnace work?
When an electric heater receives the “it’s too cold” signal from the thermostat, it turns on its heating elements, which are tightly wound spools of wire resembling those in a toaster. Due to their resistance, these coils heat up when an electric current is sent through them; the greater the need for heat, the more elements are activated.
An electric heat furnace works fundamentally the same way as a plug-in floor space heater. A space heater has a heating element that produces hot air, which is circulated by a fan into the space. An electric heat furnace can be created by enlarging the fan and heating element as well as by including an evaporator coil. An electric heat furnace rarely breaks down because of its straightforward construction, and when it does, it is simple to identify the issue and fix.
Of course, electric heaters need electricity to operate the enormous heating element—at least 240 volts, though the precise amount of motor power required will vary depending on the size of the house. (The fan also consumes power, although considerably less so). As a result, this heater needs powering by large wires to ensure electrical safety. The power is changed to 24 volts within the heater by a transformer, which is then sent to the thermostat, which controls whether or not the heater operates. These 24 volts of power are sent from the red wire up the white wire back to the furnace when the thermostat is activated. Once the relays are activated by the power, the heat strips and fan can turn on and begin to circulate warm air throughout the house.
An electric heating element’s strips heat up very quickly. The fan serves many purposes other than just keeping the house warm. The breeze it creates also cools the strips just enough to maintain the system’s temperature at a safe level. Imagine what may occur if the heater turned on but the fan stopped, causing the strips to become too hot!
3. Pros and cons of using electric heat furnaces
It’s a plus that the electric furnace does not produce carbon monoxide as furnaces that use other fuel types. Therefore, the system is more environmentally friendly. Also, it is easier to install because a flue is not necessary to remove these gasses from home
Since all of the electricity used is used to heat your home, electric furnaces are also 100 percent efficient. With gas, some of the energy utilized to generate heat is expelled through the chimney after burning. Gas, however, typically has lower prices than electricity.
The expense of operating electric furnaces is a significant drawback. In many areas, electricity is typically more expensive than gas. In some places, electric furnaces and heat pumps are combined to provide more cost reductions than electricity alone.
4. Electric heat furnaces maintenance
Electric furnaces use resistance heating to warm the air that is blasted out through the ductwork. Power is passed through the coils of the heating elements inside the furnace cabinet, making them hot. This puts a lot of strain on the heating elements, which if they are not frequently maintained and occasionally changed, might burn out. The specialist will check the heating elements during maintenance to make sure that none of them requires immediate repair or replacement.
Wires that carry high amounts of electricity naturally loosen over time, creating a significant fire hazard. In order to make modifications and tighten things up, the technician must also inspect the entire electrical system that drives the furnace. This will aid in preventing potential electrical failures that can cause the system to crash.
The air handler, the blower fan in charge of transporting heated air from the cabinet into the ventilation system, is another vital component of an electric furnace that a technician needs to examine. The technician checks that all the capacitors are in good condition and that the motors are clean and well-lubricated.
>> Read more: Commercial HVAC Maintenance
5. Common issue of Electric heat furnaces
When a furnace operates, it vibrates. Over time these vibrations may cause wires to loosen and a short to occur.
Not heating up effectively
This situation happens due to some causes: dirty filters and air ducts, faulty fan or blower, clogged filters restricting airflow
Furnace is noisy
The majority of electrical furnaces are silent workers that barely produce any sound. A noisy furnace might hint that something is loose within the unit. -> cause: loose AC parts; Belt issues
The blower is running endlessly
The furnace is found not turned on but its blower does not stop running. There are two main causes for this: The wrong thermostat setting or a faulty relay.
In case the thermostat setting is wrong, check whether the thermostat is set at mode ‘on’ instead of AUTO. When the furnace is in “Auto” mode, it will turn off when the required inside temperatures are reached. In “On” mode, the furnace will keep running until the end of the time.
If the situation is caused by a faulty relay, a complicated circuit problem that keeps the blower going even after the command to “stop” has been issued. To solve this problem, the technician needs to have a good set of skills.
>> Read more: Common Commercial HVAC Problems and How to Fix
Wrap up, an electric heat furnace is an effective and great option to keep the house warm in the winter. It’s not only cheap and easy to install but also environmentally friendly. As an HVAC technician, understanding the way a heating system works is very important, so that you can easily find out the trouble of the system and get into fixing it.