4 Tips For Maintaining An Electric Furnace


While natural gas is by far the most common residential heating fuel in cold parts of the country, electric furnaces are not uncommon in the warmer southern states. Electric furnaces offer numerous advantages, such as quiet operation and relatively little maintenance. In areas where using electricity for heating is cost-effective, they are often a top choice.

Despite their lower service requirements, annual maintenance is still an essential part of owning an electric furnace. Below you will find four tips for maximizing the life and efficiency of your home's electric furnace.

1. Routinely Replace Air Filters

Like any other part of your HVAC system, your furnace relies on proper airflow through the particulate filter. If a dirty filter restricts flow from the blower, warm air may accumulate near the heating elements. This heat can damage the heat strips or electronic components, reducing the overall lifespan of the furnace. A clogged filter may also cause the blower to overwork and overheat.

2. Check Wire Condition

Electric furnaces use individual heating elements (or heating strips) connected through relays. Interior wiring exposed to high temperatures can fail over time, especially if the insulation melts or burns. An annual check should include an inspection of all exposed wiring to ensure that there are no shorts or continuity issues.

3. Clean and Confirm Heating Element Functionality

Since an electric furnace uses multiple, separate heating elements, the furnace may continue to operate even if a single heating strip no longer works. Heating elements should be cleaned and inspected during annual maintenance checks. Cleaning each strip helps to ensure that it does not overheat. If one heating element has failed, it's usually best to repair it rather than continue to use the furnace without it.

4. Clean, Inspect, and Lubricate Blower

Your blower is an essential part of your home's entire HVAC system, and your annual maintenance check is the perfect time to inspect this component. A trained technician should confirm the blower's functionality, clean away dust and debris, and lubricate the motor, if necessary. Keeping the blower healthy is one of the best ways to extend the life of the rest of the system.

Maintaining an electric furnace can be slightly more complicated than maintaining a gas furnace since more electric components require inspection. If you are not comfortable performing this work yourself, then you should always hire a skilled HVAC technician to perform heating system maintenance.


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