Electric furnaces are one of the most common types of central heating systems. Like gas furnaces, they generate heat that warms the passing air. Electric furnaces, of course, don’t run on gas; they run on electricity. Because they require electricity, they work differently than gas furnaces. Whether you currently have an electric furnace, or if you’re thinking about buying one, you might be wondering how they work exactly.
How Electric Furnaces Work
As central heating systems, electric furnaces are designed to generate heat. They generate heat using a series of heating elements that are powered by electricity.
When you turn on an electric furnace, electricity will travel to and through the heating elements so that they heat up. A motorized blower will then force air over the heating elements. As the air travels over the heating elements, it will become warm. The warm air will then enter the ductwork where it’s distributed out the supply vents.
How Electric Furnaces Differ From Gas Furnaces
Aside from using different forms of energy, electric furnaces and gas furnaces have different parts. All electric furnaces, for instance, have a series of heating elements. Gas furnaces, on the other hand, have burners. The burners will release gas that, when exposed to a spark, ignites to produce a flame. This flame will heat the air before it enters the ductwork.
Electric furnaces typically cost less than gas furnaces. If you’re looking for a new central heating system but are on a tight budget, you may want to choose an electric furnace. They are cheaper to purchase, and they are cheaper to install than gas furnaces.
While electric furnaces cost less than gas furnaces, most of them aren’t as efficient. Modern gas furnaces are among the most energy-efficient central heating systems available. There are even high-efficiency gas furnaces available.
Maintaining an Electric Furnace
Electric furnaces don’t require much maintenance. With that said, you’ll still need to change the air filter. Electric furnaces typically have an air filter, which is used to filter both cool and warm air. Whether you’re running the electric furnace itself or the air conditioning system, the air will travel through the filter. You’ll need to replace the air filter once every few months to ensure proper airflow.
You should also get your electric furnace professionally inspected at least once a year. A professional inspection can help to reveal problems early so that they don’t have a lasting impact on your electric furnace.