Maintaining an electric furnace is an integral process of an efficient furnace – it helps to keep it running effectively and ensure yoru winters are warm.
Furnace maintenance refers to a preventive service that entails tune-up and inspection of your unit. And it’s your responsibility to ensure that the furnace is functioning properly at all times.
Below is an electric furnace maintenance guide for homeowners.
It includes everything you need to check, change, or rectify during your furnace maintenance process.
And remember the electric furnace maintenance process should be done at least once a year, except for air filters which might require to be changed severally.
Electric Furnace Maintenance 101 — How to Get The Best Results
Routine maintenance for your furnace is incredibly important for a wide variety of reasons.
It not only ensures that you have warm indoors during winter, but also minimizes the electric furnace repair costs and energy bills. And here is what should be done during electric furnace tune ups.
1. Replace the Air Filters
The task of an air filter in an HVAC is to sieve dust, dirt, and other debris from gaining access to your home’s air. It is located in the return air duct of your furnace. The air filters should be replaced, say, once every three months.
It will help in maintaining clean air circulation in your house. If you regularly clean and replace your air filters, you will ensure that it’s always capable of sieving off all the harmful particles such as dust, pollen, fungi, mold, and other airborne contaminants.
2. Furnace Blower Fan and Motor Maintenance
Your furnace’s blower fan is the fan that transmits air in your home. It is tasked with ensuring that the heat generated in your furnace is dispatched to your home’s interior. To maintain the blower fan, switch off the power of your furnace. Unplug the access panel to get to the blower.
Also, ensure that the fan wheels’ spin smoothly and easily. In some instances, a fan motor may wear out, so you need to replace it. Another way of maintaining your blower fan is by examining the blades to ensure that they are not broken or filthy.
Some fans have pulleys and belts, examine them too. Ensure that the belt is tensioned properly and is in perfect condition. A good fan belt should last for about one year. As for the blower motor, it needs lubrication once in a while.
3. Humidifier Maintenance
The humidifier is a furnace component that needs your attention from time to time. It prevents problems related to low humidity levels such as dry lips, nose, skin, and dry throat by maintaining optimal wetness in the surrounding air.
All humidifiers operate on a standard pattern. They use a sensor to sense the humidity level in a room. A humidifier goes on when the humidity level is low. And for indoor comfort, proper humidity levels are important.
Humidifiers use water to introduce or increase moisture levels in the air. As such, they have a lot of problems when it comes to mold and dirt. Therefore, you should do frequent maintenance of your humidifier – at least once in a month would be good.
Regardless of the type of humidifier you are using, frequent cleaning should be paramount. Regular cleaning prolongs its life and working conditions. Also, ensure that your humidifier’s damper is positioned properly. If you want more humidity in your home, open the damper.
4. Check the Heating Elements
Unlike a gas furnace, which uses combustion gases to generate heat, an electric furnace uses electric current. This electric current is passed through tight heating elements, which restrict the current flow to create heat.
As such, ensuring that the heating elements are in good condition is critical to the performance of your electric furnace. Check for any corrosion, pitting, or burns on the heating elements. The elements might also get loose or broken during the course of service.
Usually, these heating elements have multiple heating strip sets, controlled by sequencers and relays. And it’s quite common for some of the strips to fail while others are functioning properly.
When this happens, it means that the furnace will take a longer time to achieve the desired indoor temperature. Subsequently, it will use more power, which will, in return, increase your energy bills. So, if you notice any damage or even loose connections, have an electric furnace service tighten or replace the element.
5. Check the Thermostat
A thermostat is a small but vital component of your heating and cooling system. It’s responsible for sensing the temperature of your home and then relaying that information to the furnace.
The furnace, in turn, uses this information to determine whether it should be turned on or not. If the thermostat is not working properly, your furnace will have a hard time knowing when to turn on and off. As such, it will either stay on for too long or keep switching on and off frequently.
Either way, this will result in energy wastage and, subsequently, high energy bills. To check if your thermostat is working as it should, use a multimeter to test the voltage across the thermostat’s terminals.
If there’s no voltage or the reading is very low, it means that the thermostat is not getting power. This can be due to problems with loose wiring, the control panel, or just some dead batteries.
Loose wires just need to be tightened, while dead batteries require new ones. Regular maintenance will ensure you detect these problems in good time and find a solution. Call a professional in case you can’t do the maintenance yourself.
6. Check the Ductwork
Ducts are an integral part of your furnace, and they play a significant role in its efficiency. The ductwork is responsible for distributing heat evenly throughout your home.
If there are leaks in the ductwork, heated air will escape through them instead of being distributed to the different rooms in your house. This will make your furnace work harder and use more energy than necessary.
A good way to check for leaks is by visually inspecting the ductwork. Look out for any cracks or holes and have them sealed immediately. You should also check the joints and make sure they are tight. If you don’t know how to tune up electric furnace units or don’t feel comfortable making the repairs by yourself, you can contact a professional.
If you take some time and follow the above electric furnace maintenance checklist, your furnace will stay longer than you think.
Some of these maintenance tips do not even need an AC technician as you can do them on your own.