Do Electric Furnaces Need Yearly Maintenance?

If you have an electric furnace, you get to enjoy the benefits of a durable, quieter, less hazardous means of heating your home. Electric furnaces typically require fewer large repairs over their lifetime if cared for appropriately. We gathered our research to answer if electric furnaces require yearly maintenance and will explain the steps to maintaining your electric furnace the right way.

All furnaces require yearly maintenance, including electric furnaces. Having your furnace serviced annually is crucial to ensure the reliability and efficiency of your heating system come the winter months. 

Now you know your electric furnace does, in fact, need yearly maintenance, but what is involved in this service? Keep reading as we discuss how you maintain an electric furnace and give you an idea of how much this service typically costs.

An HVAC personnel checking the wiring of the electric furnace, Do Electric Furnaces Need Yearly Maintenance?

How Do You Maintain An Electric Furnace?

Annual maintenance ensures your furnace is not working harder than it should and decreases the possibility of your unit abruptly breaking down when you need it most. There are specific elements that need to be checked or maintained during your yearly check-up.

The blower fan and motor are key elements of an electric furnace. These parts are responsible for sending air through the heating elements and into the ventilation system.

Maintenance for these parts includes checking for any wear and tear on the fan or motor, as well as cleaning and lubricating the working parts. The blower fan is a working part of any AC unit as well, making this part more susceptible to damage or wear.

You should check heating elements for broken parts and pieces that are in need of tightening or cleaning. Other parts of the annual service include changing out filters, calibrating the thermostat, and replacing heat strips as needed.

Read more on our blog post, Can You Put A Furnace In The Attic?

What Maintenance Can I Do Myself With My Electric Furnace?

There are plenty of aspects to maintaining an electric furnace that need professional or HVAC technician attention. However, there are some steps you can take on your own to ensure your unit is running properly and efficiently.

A worker checking the inner components of a gas boiler

You can replace clean or replace your filter regularly and ensure all vents are open and flowing. Dirty filters or vents blocked by furniture can impede airflow, causing your furnace to work harder and less efficiently.

Moreover, reducing your home's heating load can help your furnace work less by keeping more heat in. Heat load is the amount of heat needed to keep your home comfortable. Sealing windows, and door drafts, and any other areas of major heat loss means your furnace needs to work for shorter times.

Checking the air duct exhaust

Keeping your furnace clean, free of debris like pet hair or dust, ensuring open airflow, and consistent filter changes are all parts of furnace maintenance you can do yourself. Taking these steps can decrease costs when a technician comes for an annual check-up and helps you catch any issues with your furnace sooner rather than later.

What Happens With An Electric Furnace That Is Not Maintained?

Electric furnaces do pose less risk than gas furnaces, but they are certainly not 100% risk-free. If you don't maintain your electric furnace or care for or adjust its moving parts, the risk of an electrical fire increases.

A man checking the air duct cover

An electric furnace that goes without annual service may suffer from corroding wires and failed heating elements. A run-down furnace or one working in a run-down state can ultimately lead you to higher costs of heat and increase the possible danger in your home.

How Long Do Electric Furnaces Last?

Another positive to electric furnaces is they last twice as long as a gas furnace. With appropriate and consistent maintenance, you can expect your electric furnace to last between 20 and 30 years.

Electric furnaces can last twice as long as gas furnaces because the design is much simpler and no combustion takes place. Maintenance is the key to extending the life of any furnace, while the lack of it can cut years off its lifespan.

An electrician checking the voltage of the electric furnace

There are some signs that tell you it is time to get a new electric furnace. Some of these signs include the following:

  • Your unit is older than 20-30 years
  • The furnace is making loud noises during standard operation
  • You notice temperature fluctuations throughout the home
  • Severe increase in electric bill and furnace repairs

When you notice any of the above, it is a good idea to call an HVAC technician and have them assess your furnace. Getting an assessment on a heating unit is also a great idea if you are moving into a new home or are making large changes to your current home.

Read more on our blog post, How Long Does A Goodman Furnace Last?

How Much Does It Cost To Get Your Furnace Serviced?

When you install your electric furnace, check with the manufacturer and company doing the installation to check if they include any yearly maintenance deals. Aspects that can change the cost of service include your warranty, age and make of your furnace, size, condition, and if there are any needed repairs.

An annual check on your furnace can run from $80-$200 with the above factors in mind. If you have kept up with yearly maintenance from the beginning, your costs are typically on the lower end.

This price range is only for a tune-up or cleaning of your furnace and does not include the costs of potential repairs. On average, furnace repairs run from $150-$400, and many of these repairs can be avoided with yearly maintenance.

A furnace tune-up is a bit more involved than a regular cleaning, which may run you on the higher end of costs, but still cheaper than what you see for involved repairs. You do get the benefit of lower costs of maintenance just for having an electric unit. Electric furnaces require less cleaning and have no need for additional piping.

Read more on our blog post, Are Electric Furnaces Quieter Than Gas?

Does An Electric Furnace Use A Lot Of Electricity?

An electric furnace uses electricity to push heated forced air through the ducts in your home. Electric units typically range from 10 to 50 kilowatts. It can take 18,000 watts for a unit to heat a standard-sized home. Compare these numbers to a gas furnace that needs less than 600 watts of electricity. Then, yes, in comparison, an electric furnace does use a lot of electricity.

Moreover, the amount of electricity usage will increase if you do not care for and clean the electric furnace properly. Even just one part of the unit not working correctly can create higher usage of electricity and longer run times.

Read more on our blog post, Does A Natural Gas Furnace Need Electricity?

Are Electric Furnaces Expensive To Run?

Electricity is more costly than gas or other fuel sources. The exact costs to run an electric furnace can fluctuate based on where you live, the size of your home, the type of unit you have, and the cost of electricity in your area. You can calculate the exact cost of using your electric furnace by multiplying the hours used per day, power consumption in watts, and the kilowatt per hour price.

A homeowner checking his electric bill for the month

On average, you will spend $2,600 per year to run an electric furnace. Gas furnaces cost around $1,800 per year to run, but these units often require more repairs and have a shorter lifespan. There are advantages behind the higher use costs of electric furnaces. For example, the costs of installation and setup tend to be lower and electric units provide far more safety.

In Closing

Electric furnaces do require annual maintenance. This check-up includes a thorough cleaning, and at other times, a full tune-up. Without yearly service, you are looking at more repairs and issues with your furnace. These issues ultimately lead to higher costs of running your furnace. A well-maintained furnace can have a lifespan of up to 30 years and with little to no need for repairs.

Electric furnaces do use more electricity than gas units and have higher run costs. On the other hand, the installation of electric units is easier and cheaper, and the safety of electric units is higher. We hope you found this article insightful when it comes to your electric furnace and its needed maintenance.

Are you interested in taking your furnace to the next level? Have a look through our blog post, How Much Does It Cost To Add A Humidifier To Your Furnace?

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