Troubleshooting Common Problems with Your Electric Furnace

An electric furnace can be a convenient way to heat a home. When something goes wrong, it can become a nightmare. If you know how to troubleshoot properly, you can save yourself time and money. Some things will require a professional, while others can be easily fixed with a few simple tools.

Little or No Heat

Having little or no heat can be tricky to diagnose. It's a good idea to first try to increase the temperature setting by 5 degrees. Give the system a few minutes to register the change. If this doesn't correct the situation, check the air filter. A dirty filter can prevent proper air flow, inhibiting the amount of heat that is produced. A clogged blower assembly or a broken belt can also cause a system to produce no heat. If this is the case you can refer to your operation manual for belt replacement.

Blower Runs Continuously

A blower that runs constantly can signal a big problem, not to mention increase your utility bills astronomically. If you've noticed the blower isn't turning off, try to switch the settings on the thermostat from ON to OFF or AUTO. Give the system a few seconds to register the new setting. If the motor doesn't turn off with this change, it's probably a faulty relay. This will require a qualified professional to repair.

Noisy Furnace

A noisy furnace can not only be a nuisance to listen to, it can be a sign of a bigger problem. Check your owners manual for information on how to access the belts. Check to see if they are worn, damaged, or sticking. A sticking belt can typically be corrected by adding some lubrication. A belt that is loose can be tightened with a simple wrench in most cases. A belt that is too tight will cause a squeaky noise, and can be easily loosened. A banging sound can come from a loose access panel. This can be remedied with a screwdriver and new bolts to secure the panel properly.

Furnace Won't Turn On

If the furnace won't kick on at all, there could be a few reasons for this. First, check the fuses. A blown or tripped fuse will cause the furnace to stop powering on. You may have to check a few areas to eliminate this as a problem. Check the main circuit breaker, entrance panels, and any fuses or circuits found in the furnace itself. If this isn't the problem, you can reset the power by switching the furnace off at the furnace power switch for about a minute. Switch it back on and see if this corrects the problem. The furnace motor can become overloaded at times as well. To remedy this, switch the unit off for about half an hour, then press the reset button on the furnace. Power it back on and see if this corrects the problem. If none of this works, it's time to call a professional.