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5 Common Problems With Electric Furnaces

Atlanta Heating & Air Solutions Mabelton
Atlanta Furnace Blog

Many homeowners prefer electric furnaces over gas furnaces. They don’t require a gas supply, are easier to maintain and are very safe. But electric furnaces can still fail. If you have an electric furnace, you should be aware of the following problems.

#1) Heating Element Failure

Electric furnaces use a heating element to produce heat. It’s the equivalent of a burner assembly in a gas furnace. While burner assemblies burn natural gas and air, though, heating elements do not. Heating elements work by drawing electricity through coils. As electricity travels through an electric furnace’s heating element, the heating element will heat up.

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#2) Bad Capacitor

If an electric furnace won’t turn on, it may be suffering from capacitor failure. Most electric furnaces have a starting capacitor. This otherwise small part plays a big role in its operations. The starting capacitor will provide the electric furnace with an initial jolt of electricity to turn on. Capacitors can go bad. A bad capacitor will no longer provide the electric furnace with the electricity it needs to turn on.

#3) Loose Electrical Connection

A loose electrical connection is a common problem with electric furnaces. Something as simple as a loose wire may prevent an electric furnace from working. Heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) equipment produces vibrations. Over time, these vibrations may lead to loose wires. And it only takes a single loose wire to interfere with an electric furnace’s operations.

#4) Blown Blower Motor

Like gas furnaces, electric furnaces work in conjunction with a blower. Blowers consist of motorized fans that circulate air. The motors that power them, though, may blow. Blown motors are typically the result of mechanical failure or overheating. The bearings or other parts within a motor may fail. And if the blower motor no longer works, the electric furnace to which it’s connected won’t work, either.

#5) Clogged Air Filter

Both air conditioning systems and furnaces use an air filter. They typically use the same air filter, which is found inside of the furnace. After cooling or warming the air, the blower will draw air through the air and into the ductwork.

Air filters must be regularly changed. Regardless of the material from which it’s made, no air filter lasts forever. They will eventually become clogged with so much dirt and airborne debris that they restrict airflow. Clogged air filters are a common problem with electric furnaces. An electric furnace may heat up, but air won’t be able to travel over the heating element if the air filter is clogged.

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