Russell's Heating & AC
Jul 17 2018

Common Electric Furnace Repairs

Electric furnaces are a relatively new type of heating system, in comparison to more traditional combustion-based furnaces. They have a number of advantages over more traditional systems, as well. Electric furnaces are more reliable, versatile, and environmentally friendly than gas-powered systems. They are not without their flaws, however. Let’s take a look at some common electric furnace repairs.

Burned Out Heating Element

Electric furnaces heat by running an electric current through a large heating element in the bottom of the furnace. As this heating element heats up, it warms the air being blown over it by the air handler. There is no need for a heat exchanger, because there are no combustion byproducts to worry about. However, the extreme amount of strain that these elements are put under over a long period of time eventually cause them to burn out. This is similar to the way a lightbulb burns out, except much, much larger. When this happens, it can completely remove the furnace’s ability to heat.


Short-cycling is when your furnace keeps rapidly turning on and off throughout the day. It is caused by the furnace limit switch detecting dangerously high internal furnace temperatures during operation. When this happens, the switch shuts the furnace down as a safety measure. The problem is that this does not address the root of the overheating problem. When the system cools off and starts up again, it overheats again, and the whole process repeats indefinitely. Usually, the root cause of this kind of problem is poor airflow in the furnace.

Blown Out Motor

The blower motor is responsible for powering the fan that circulates warm air throughout the house. In order to keep the motor running smoothly, it is equipped with oil-lubricated bearings that reduce friction while it is running. If the bearings are not oiled every 1-2 years, however, they can dry up and actually increase the resistance to the motor. This will eventually cause the motor to burn itself out from overheating.

If your electric furnace is having problems, call Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning. We provide furnace repair services throughout Yucaipa.