Furnaces are what keep our homes cozy and warm when the temperature drops below comfortable. In Las Vegas, furnaces are often overlooked, thanks to our desert climate. But rest assured, there are plenty of winter nights where a furnace will come in handy. And when those nights come, you’ll want to be sure you have the best furnace to run efficiently, safely, and not drain your wallet.
There are many types of furnaces, based on what they use to heat the air they pull in, and an electric furnace is one of the most popular. But how exactly does it run? What makes it different? And should you get one? Here’s a crash course on all things electric furnace.
How does an Electric Furnace Work?
Electric furnaces are a great heating tool that draws on electricity, as the name implies, to heat the air. It starts by drawing in the cold air from your home using what is called a cold-air return. Once the air has been pulled into the cabinet of the furnace, electricity is run through a conductor that’s also in the cabinet. The electricity heats the conductor and the air around it begins to heat as well.
Once the air is warmed to the desired temperature, a blower pushes it through the duct system of your house. The ducts connect to all the rooms and disperses the warmed air. In a matter of minutes you can be toasty on the couch, enjoying the cool evening.
What are the benefits of Electric Furance?
With so many different types of furnaces out there, you might be wondering why you should choose an electric furnace. There are many great benefits, but here are just a few of the top ones.
- Sound – because an electric furnace uses a conductor with electricity flowing through it, it is fairly quiet. Some other units can be loud and disruptive, while an electric furnace will hum peacefully in the background as you go about your day.
- Lifespan – gas units have a 10-20 year lifespan when well maintained. An electric furnace, however, can have a lifespan of 20-30 years if properly taken care of. That’s a huge difference!
- Safe – thanks to the use of electricity as a heating source, electric furnaces do not pose a risk to the household unless in rare cases. Some other units, in comparison, can emit carbon dioxide if not well maintained and inspected often.
What are the drawbacks of a Electric Furance?
All good things must have a downside, right? Luckily, electric furnaces have very few drawbacks. They are a relatively solid choice in the world of furnaces. There are mainly two concerns to consider before choosing to install an electric furnace in your home.
- Monthly Costs – electric furnaces tend to be less energy efficient than gas or oil units. That’s because the system has to draw on electricity while it heats up and continues to use it the entire time it’s on. Because of this, the monthly electric bill will be higher with an electric furnace.
- Repair Costs – while an electric furnace tends to break less often than its counterparts, it can happen. And when it does, repairs for an electric furnace are usually more expensive. You will have to decide which is more important: fewer breaks at a higher cost, or more breaks at a slightly cheaper charge.
How do I maintain my Electric Furnace?
If you’ve weighed the pros and the cons and have decided an electric furnace is right for your household, you’ll probably want to know how to maintain your new unit. Maintenance is a vital part of being a furnace owner, as the proper care can lead to an extended lifespan. And when your furnace lives longer, and you don’t need to replace it sooner, you save money. Here are a few precautionary cleaning steps you should take with your unit.
- Clean the Filter – this is probably the easiest cleaning you’ll ever do with your unit. There should be a place to slide out the old filter and replace it with the new. And this can cost you as little as a few dollars. It will keep your system dust and dirt free and stop your ducts from getting dirty and clogged. Read our article here to learn more about how to choose and install furnace filters.
- Clean the Belts – there are a variety of belts and pulleys that an electric furnace uses. Be sure to read the owner’s manual to learn where each belt is located and what it does. Check on these regularly for wear and tear, and clean them off with a soft cloth to keep them running like new.
- Clean the Air Blower – you may need to read your owner’s manual to locate where the air blower is. When you find it, remove the protective cover to gain complete access. You’ll want to find a toothbrush to carefully scrub away the dirt from each blade and loosen any grime. Then you can use a vacuum hose or a soft cloth to wipe away everything you’ve scrubbed up.