Every furnace has a central area that generates heat for your home. In combustion furnaces, the main components involved in the heat generation process are the burner and the heat exchanger. In an electric furnace, this component is the heating element. Without the heating element, your electric furnace cannot produce any heat; as such, any repair work needed for the heating element should always be handled by a trained expert, like the ones at Dynamic Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning in Newington.
How Does the Heating Element Work?
The heating element in an electric furnace is comprised of multiple, tightly-wound metal coils. Many times they are in a block in which two or three tiers of several coils are stacked on top of one another. When your thermostat calls for heat, electric relays start the process of ignition, but not all the coils heat at once. A component called a sequencer controls when different sets of coils are allowed to heat. The reason for this is that if all the coils heated at once, the power draw would be too great on your electrical system; electrifying the coils in a specific sequence allows the coils to heat in a pattern that produces enough heat without overloading your electrical panel.
Once the coils heat the air around them to the right temperature, the furnace’s fan turns on and blows the warmed air into your ductwork.
Common Problems with the Heating Element
Just as a gas furnace’s burner or heat exchanger can develop problems, so can the heating element of an electric furnace.
- Tripping circuit breakers – as you can probably guess, the electrical draw from an electric furnace can be significant; sometimes an electric furnace requires its own separate panel. Tripping circuit breakers mean there is either a problem of too much power being drawn or the breaker is faulty; either case requires repair by an expert.
- Bad element – sometimes the element itself can have problems that require replacement of the element.
- Problems with the sequencer – a faulty sequencer can prohibit the operation of your heating element; if you have a faulty sequencer, it will need to be replaced.
An electric furnace can last anywhere from 20-30 years, so to get the most from yours, make sure it is always cared for by a trained expert. We provide professional furnace repair in the Newington area. Call us today to schedule an appointment.