For inexpensive, low-cost heating, an electric furnace is a wise choice. These devices use electrical energy to warm air in a particular area. It uses:
- An electric forced-air heating system, which includes a heating element made of metal wires
- Comfort controls, which measure and regulate temperature
- A forced-air distribution system, which draws in air from a heating or cooling source and distributes it throughout an area via heating ducts.
Why An Electric Furnace?
Electric furnaces are fairly easy to install, operate, and maintain. Because of their small size, they can be conveniently placed in many areas, such as apartments, offices, and attics. They are compact and economical, and unlike other types of furnaces, do not require additional fuel pipes, venting, or costly fuel storage tanks. They do not employ numerous moving parts, just a compact heating unit and a blower fan. Because electric furnaces do not use gas, there are no pilot light or combustible parts, reducing the threat of leaking hazardous fuels into the area.
Electric furnaces may initially cost more than gas furnaces, but if gas prices are particularly high, you may save by using an electric unit. Other considerations include the lack of carbon monoxide risk, making electric furnaces a safer and cleaner form of heating. Although they require less maintenance than other heating units, there are still parts that could benefit from occasional check-ups, particularly if they don't seem to be operating optimally.
Electric Furnace Maintenance
Keeping the air filter clean is essential to keeping the unit working at an optimal level. Clogged burner ports and an improper setting can also substantially affect the unit's efficiency.
A handy person or professional can:
- Check the heat strips for burned out or broken elements
- Ensure that the fan motor and blower wheel are working properly
- Measure the heating components amps
- Inspect the ducts for tears or leaks
- Examine the air filter to ensure efficient flow
- Check the thermostat.
Buying an Electric Furnace
When purchasing an electric furnace, you'll want to find the highest efficiency rating for what your budget will allow. Other things to consider are:
- Noise level
- Maintenance requirements.
If you are replacing your current electric furnace, keep in mind that current units are more efficient, but have smaller input capacities, as older units were typically larger than needed for the space they occupied.