What Are Some Common Problems With Electric Heaters?


Quick Answer

The most common problems with electric heaters include failure to operate or generate enough heat, constantly turning on and off, noisy operation and a blower that refuses to stop running. Major issues with an electric furnace require a professional, but there are some fixes that homeowners should try first.

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Full Answer

If an electric furnace simply refuses to turn on, the first place to look is at the power switch, to make sure it is in the "On" position. The next place is the circuit box, as a tripped breaker switch or blown fuse cuts power off as well. The motor may also have overloaded, in which case waiting half an hour and pushing the "Reset" button should do the job.

When the furnace does not produce enough heat, there may be gunk on the filter or blower, so replacing that filter or blower assembly often solves the problem. Keeping registers free of blockage from furniture, drapes and rugs is also important. It is possible to replace or adjust a loose or broken blower belt. It also helps to check the thermostat to make sure the setting is correct.

A furnace that keeps turning on and off likely has a dirty filter or clogged blower. The motor and blower may also need lubrication. If the blower won't stop blowing, make sure the thermostat is set to "Auto" instead of "On" before calling a professional. A noisy furnace may have a blower belt that is too tight or loose. A squeaking sound might mean that belts are damaged, worn or sticking and are in need of a spray of fan belt dressing or perhaps replacement. Loose access panels can also get noisy, so checking to make them secure helps as well.

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