Do Electric Furnaces Need Maintenance?

Electric furnaces are common in older homes and manufactured homes in Phoenix, AZ. They typically aren’t as powerful as natural gas furnaces, but the mild winters usually don’t require the same high heat output for comfort in Arizona as they do in other parts of the country. Electric furnaces usually cost significantly more to run than gas furnaces because electricity is more expensive than natural gas, but the low level of use they receive compensates for this—and they cost less to install initially. Electric furnaces also need fewer repairs over their lifetime.

Because electric furnaces aren’t on the top of most homeowners minds when it comes to items requiring maintenance around our homes, it can be easy to neglect to have them checked and cleaned each fall. If you feel that this “simpler” type of furnace, that doesn’t present any gas leak dangers, doesn’t require maintenance as frequently as other types of heating systems–or maybe at all, this article is for you. 

If you have repairs that you need done right now, before it gets any colder, contact us for service for your electric furnace in Gilbert, AZ.

Any Home Heating System Requires Annual Maintenance

Yes, your electric furnace requires yearly maintenance—because all heating systems require it once a year. There are two specific reasons for maintenance that apply to all heaters:

  • Reliability: Who wants to have equipment that’s in danger of suddenly breaking down when it’s needed the most? Heating homes in Scottsdale, AZ and surrounding areas may not be a life-saving issue the way it can be in a place like Minnesota, but a heater breakdown is an uncomfortable and inconvenient situation when it’s cold. You don’t want to make emergency HVAC calls if you don’t have to. You may also end up with a permanently broken heating system, ending the heater’s life years too early and potentially leading to required replacement, if you neglect your electric furnace too long.
  • Energy savings: Maintaining a heating system’s efficiency is key to ensuring you don’t pay more for warmth than you have to. Because electric furnaces in general cost more to run than other types of heaters, it’s especially important to ensure they don’t start draining more power than necessary because of faults that routine maintenance can catch and correct.

Of course we work on gas furnaces as well! For service for your gas furnace in Mesa, AZ, you only need to contact us.

A Few Electric Furnace Maintenance Specifics

We’ve looked at why maintenance is important for all heaters, but we’re going to look at some of the specific issues of electric furnaces.

First, an electric furnace uses a blower fan and motor to send air through the heating elements and then into the ventilation system. In most central systems, this same blower fan works with the AC, and so it undergoes a great deal of stress during the year. Maintenance checks the blower fan and motor to see they aren’t damaged or wearing down. Lubricating and cleaning the motor are important parts of maintenance.

Checking the heating elements—the parts of the furnace that heat up with electric current in order to transfer heat to the air—is also a key part of maintaining the furnace. The elements may need cleaning, their connections tightened, or broken ones replaced.

The heating elements also known as heat strips typically have multiple “sets” of strip heating controlled by relays and sequencers. It’s not uncommon for one or two sets of strip heat to fail while others still work. This issue often goes undetected and causes the heat to run much longer than necessary to warm your home, costing you money and comfort. We’ve even seen strip heat that wasn’t hooked up correctly since the electric furnace was installed and in one case a customer wasn’t even aware of it for the first five years after the furnace was installed!

There are many other crucial steps, such as checking the thermostat calibration and changing the filter. All go toward ensuring you have an electric furnace you can depend on and which won’t cost you extra money this coming winter.

To arrange for maintenance service for your furnace in Goodyear, AZ, sign up for our maintenance plan today. We offer three different levels of savings plans to help you find the right program for your budget.

Call Magic Touch Mechanical today to experience our award-winning customer service first-hand. We look forward to exceeding your expectations!