Furnaces are synonymous with fire which translates to heat. And so, every homeowner's nightmare is a cold furnace during the cold season. You need not worry when such a problem occurs. We've consulted the experts on the best thing to do, and here's what they recommend.
When your electric furnace is blowing cold air, check the following before calling a technician:
- Air Filter
- Circuit breakers or Fuses
- Blower fan
- Overheated Furnace
- Leaking Ducts
- Thermostat Settings
- Electric Coils
If any of the above items are faulty, you need to repair or replace them for your furnace to work properly.
A faulty gadget in an electric furnace will paralyze its work. Continue reading to see what you should do if any of the above-mentioned items has an issue.
Troubleshooting An Electric Furnace Blowing Cold Air
An electric furnace is composed of several parts. If one of these parts becomes faulty, it may cause the furnace to malfunction.
To understand where the issue lies, look at every component and troubleshoot before you put the electric furnace on again.
When the electric furnace air filters are dirty, they'll block the warm airflow over the furnace's heat exchanger. In turn, the heat exchanger overheats. The overheating of the electric furnace will trip the high limit switch and turn it off.
Simply change the air filter. The process doesn't require a lot of work. To change the air filter in an electric furnace, follow these steps:
- Turn off the power supply to the electric furnace.
- Locate the air filter and remove it.
- Purchase another filter with the same dimensions.
- Install the new air filter properly, and voila! Your furnace should work again.
Circuit Breakers & Fuses
Over time and with a sudden surge of electric current, the fuses in your electric furnace could stop working.
Blown fuses need to be replaced immediately. Otherwise, there won't be any electric current to the furnace, and it'll only blow cold air.
An electric furnace should have a designated circuit that solely supplies power to it. The circuit breaker could have problems if it's overloaded.
The electric furnace might blow cold air when the circuit trips. This is because the electric elements aren't heated. Check the circuit breaker to see if it's on or damaged.
Ensure that you change a damaged circuit breaker.
The fan blows and circulates hot air into the ducts and vents. A broken blower motor causes the fan to blow cold air.
You might have to call a technician to help you replace a blower motor in the electric furnace.
Watch this video for a thorough demonstration on replacing a blower motor in an electric furnace:
An overheated furnace shuts down and will blow cold air around the house. You'll need to check what component of the furnace isn't working.
Note: Overheating could melt bolts and screws in an electric furnace.
The duct system distributes the warm airflow throughout the house. If you have an accessible duct system, check for holes and tears.
Duct systems in old homes might be in poor condition. They'll allow the airflow to be colder than the set temperature.
Once you locate the leaking area, use duct sealant or HVAC tape. Seal the holes and tears thoroughly by using the tape generously.
Alternatively, apply a generous coat of the sealant. After the duct sealant has dried, apply a water-based sealant to complete the work (if necessary).
Electric furnaces have a thermostat with heat settings. The heat set in the thermostat is how hot the air in the electric furnace should get.
Ensure that you check the settings just in case they might be set too low. Low setting means the furnace will be blowing cold air.
Some electric furnaces are rather complicated, therefore take your time to read the manual.
An electric furnace generates heat from the heated coils. An old electric furnace might still run but blow cold air if the electric coils are worn out.
Check to see if this is the case. Experts recommend changing all the coils even if it's only one that isn't working. The rest are bound to stop working in a short while.
Changing the electric coils in an electric furnace might be difficult. You can involve the services of a professional to replace the coils or heating elements.
Here is a video with a step-by-step guide to changing the electric coils in an electric furnace:
Note: If you cannot locate the problem, engage the services of a professional to do a proper diagnostic.
How Do Electric Furnaces Work?
Electric furnaces have their place under the sun, too. Many homeowners have installed electric furnaces where gas or oil furnaces aren't common.
The functions of an electric furnace are straightforward. Air is pulled through the heat exchanger. It passes the air filter then it's heated up by the heating elements or coils.
Subsequently, the warm air is then pushed out of the furnace by the blower to the ductwork.
How Many Heating Elements Are In An Electric Furnace?
Depending on the size of your electric furnace, you might find that there may be three or more heating elements. Also known as resistance coils, the heating elements need to be changed from time to time to elongate the life span of your electric furnace.
Heating elements for electric furnaces cost between $100 to $300. In some cases, the cost might include their installation. Ensure that you purchase the correct heating before installation.
Important Parts Found Only In Electric Furnaces
Electrical furnaces differ from other furnaces because they simply don't use fuel. The fact that they use electricity, they have some additional parts. These parts help regulate the current going into the electric furnace. These three parts, namely the contactor, sequencer, and transformer play different roles.
Contactor: It works in conjunction with the thermostat. The contactor controls the voltage submitted to the heating elements or coils of the electric furnace.
Sequencer: This part keeps the current spike down, without allowing the elements to become too energized all at once. The sequencer turns the elements on and off.
Transformer: If you have been wondering where the control circuit gets power from, look no further. The transformer transfers electrical energy from one circuit to the other. This referee allows the current to move smoothly while powering the electric furnace.
The Most Popular Electric Furnaces
Electric furnaces are considered to be convenient and safe. Manufacturers have modernized electric furnaces popularizing them in the process.
Here are a few models of electric furnaces that are very popular in the market today:
- Goodman Electric Furnaces
- King Electric Furnaces
- Winchester Electric Furnaces
The cost of electric furnaces ranges from $700 to about $3,000. The cost sometimes includes the installation and servicing of the electric furnace. Each electric furnace comes with a warranty.
Can You Reset An Electric Furnace?
Electric furnaces have a reset button like gas and oil furnaces. You need to be cautious while resetting the furnace.
The reset button is for safety purposes, and it shuts down the electric furnace when it overheats.
Here are a few easy steps to reset your electric furnace:
- First, turn off the main power supply to the unit to avoid being electrocuted.
- Secondly, locate the reset button in the blower compartment.
- Next, press and hold the reset button till it gives a click sound.
- Finally, turn the electric furnace on using the circuit breaker or power button.
Once you have done the above, the furnace should start running again smoothly.
How Often Do Electric Furnaces Need Maintenance?
Electric furnaces serve longer than any other furnaces. But to get the most out of them, you'll need to maintain them properly.
Different components wear out at different speeds and should be replaced as often as necessary. Heat and sudden surges of electric current may render some components useless.
Ensure that you regularly check the electric furnace for any cracks caused by excessive heat. Engage the services of a technician to curb expensive repairs.
Note: Manufacturers of different electric furnaces offer maintenance services from various workshops, and offer in-house calls.
To Sum Up
Not all homes are near the gas lines, but all homes have electricity. Therefore, homeowners have the option to install electric furnaces.
Troubleshoot your electric furnace to find out what makes it blow cold air. Remedy the issues and replace any faulty parts.
Although electric furnaces seem a bit expensive to install, they serve up to 10 years longer than gas or oil furnaces.
Before you go, you may look into these posts: