How to Identify the Subtle Signs of Electric Furnace Malfunction
A properly functioning furnace should provide adequate heat for your indoor spaces. If your electric furnace is in despair, you may be in for an ugly surprise. The equipment may fail mid-season, throwing your household into a heating emergency. Electric furnaces display subtle signs of malfunction before they stop working. If you're keen enough to identify the following signs, you can call for repairs and avert a heating emergency.
There are two types of noises your electric furnace should produce when in operation. When starting a heating cycle, it makes a popping sound. This noise occurs when warm air hits the cold ducts and causes them to expand. As air rushes through the vents, you may hear low humming sounds. Any other noises may indicate a problem with your electric furnace. They include:
- Screeching: Loud screeches signal a problem with the blower motor. The motor has moving parts that require lubrication. If they are not lubricated, they grind against each other, causing a loud screeching sound.
- Buzzing: A loud buzzing sound in your furnace could be due to an electrical malfunction in the system. You probably have a broken blower motor fan or a failed capacitor.
- Rattling: Rattling sounds result from broken parts, loose panels or loose screws inside the furnace. Loose screws can cause damage to the furnace components if they come off.
If you hear an unusual sound when you walk by the furnace, don't ignore it. Conduct a professional diagnosis to avoid further damage and system shutdown.
Is your electric furnace struggling to heat your home as fast as it used to? Does your thermostat take a longer time to record the preset temperatures? These are signs of inefficiency and impending failure.
Electric furnaces have a series of coiled heating elements that produce heat. However, the coils don't all heat at once as they could overload the breaker. Instead, the system has a component known as the sequencer, which controls the heating coils.
A faulty sequencer can fail to turn on enough heating elements to heat your home. This causes delayed heating and lower temperatures than the thermostat setting. Also, if some of the heating elements are faulty, you may notice a reduction in the furnace's heating capabilities. Replacing the defective components should restore the furnace's efficiency.
Circuit breaker woes
If your circuit breaker trips when the heater is on, your furnace has an electrical problem. Some common issues include bad heating elements, a faulty sequencer and a faulty blower motor. Resetting the breaker will only offer a temporary fix and expose your furnace to overheating and damage. Repair the defective components to prevent circuit breaker woes.
Contact a local contractor for heater repair services.