Gas power for homes is widespread, but gas mains can’t reach every residential property. In some cases, homeowners prefer to rely entirely on electricity in their homes because of safety concerns from natural gas. Whatever the situation, a home relying solely on electrical power can still have a furnace to provide comfort during the frigid winters in Chicago. Electric furnaces are a popular choice when it comes to home comfort: they’re less expensive to install than gas furnaces and can often outlast them.
To get the longest service life from an electric furnace so you receive those extra years, always schedule annual heating maintenance. Our technicians will help see you have as trouble-free a heating system as possible! However, nothing is able to prevent all potential malfunctions, and at some point your electric furnace may need heater repair in Oak Park, IL.
What Can Go Wrong with an Electric Furnace—And How We’ll Fix It
One of the reasons electric furnaces tend to have longer service lives than gas-powered ones is that they don’t wear down as quickly due to rust and corrosion, which often comes from the interaction of metal with the byproducts of burning fuel. But electric furnaces still have many identical components to gas furnaces, such as the parts in the air handler. No matter how a furnace heats up the air moving into the ventilation system, it needs to have a powerful motor and fan to actually move the air. The strain on this motor can cause it to burn out, especially if it’s the same blower the AC uses during the summer. (Once again, we can’t overemphasize the importance of fall maintenance; it takes strain off the blower motor after the summer.) If the motor collects too much dust or loses lubrication, the extra stress may lead to overheating and a failed motor. Our technicians can fix this by replacing the motor.
If you hear screeching sounds from your furnace, you may have a motor close to failing, or one that has bearings that are wearing down. If you catch this early enough, it’s easier for us to make repairs: lubricating the motor or replacing the bearings.
The place where an electric furnace needs different repairs than a gas furnace is in the heating elements. A gas furnace uses burners to create hot combustion gas that heats the air; an electric furnace has a series of heating elements that turn hot as an electric current moves through them (electrical resistance heating, much like a toaster) to heat the air. Like any electric component, these can burn out. If you find you aren’t getting sufficient heat from the furnace, it’s possible one or more of the heating elements has failed. We can fix the electrical issues behind this or replace the broken heating elements.
There are many other electrical components running the furnace, and corrosion along wires and loose connections can cause the system to shut down or start behaving oddly. Please leave any tinkering with the furnace to find electrical problems to us! You don’t want to risk an electric shock or a poor “repair” that ends up creating electrical fire hazards. Keeping a furnace safe, no matter if it’s electric or gas-powered, is a big part of our job.
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