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Your Position: Home - Home Appliances - The Training Center of Air Conditioning & Heating

The Training Center of Air Conditioning & Heating

It’s very rare to find a home equipped with an air conditioning system that doesn’t also have a furnace. Even in the Houston area, where hot weather is the norm and people rarely turn on their heaters, you’ll still find yourself working on plenty of heaters during your HVAC career. Heating units are similar to air conditioners but require a slightly different focus to repair or maintain.

Heaters may not be the most commonly used home fixture in Houston, but they’re still important for homeowners’ comfort and for your experience. Are you ready to help Houston families stay comfortable during the cooler season this year? Keep reading to refresh your memory.

What do you know about how electric heat furnaces work and how to repair them? Learn all the important information here! #TheTrainingCenterofAirConditioningandHeating Click To Tweet

How Do Electric Heaters Work?

At its core, an electric heat furnace functions similarly to a floor space heater that plugs into the wall. A space heater consists of a heating element and a fan to blow the hot air into the room. If you increase the size of both the fan and the heating element and add an evaporator coil, you have an electric heat furnace. Due to its simple design, an electric heat furnace rarely fails and is easy to diagnose and repair when it does have problems.

Electric heaters, of course, require electricity to power the massive heating element–at least 240 volts, in fact, though the exact motor power you need depends on the size of the house. (The fan uses power too, but not nearly as much.) Look for 1-2 large wires coming from the breaker box powering this heater. A transformer inside the heater converts the power to 24 volts, which is then diverted to the thermostat that determines whether or not the heater turns on. When the thermostat is triggered, it sends those 24 volts of power from the red wire up a white wire back to the furnace. The power then snaps the relays, allowing the heat strips and fan to power on and start blowing warm air into the home.

Remember, the strips in an electric heating element heat up very quickly. The fan isn’t just essential to warming up the house. The breeze it generates also cools the strips down just enough to keep the entire system at a safe temperature. Imagine what could happen if the heater came on but the fan stopped working, allowing the strips to overheat!

Pro Tip: When installing a thermostat and electric heater, program the thermostat specifically for electric heat. The transfer of power is different depending on whether the heater is powered by gas or electricity.

Maintaining Electric Heat Furnaces

Maintenance of an electric heater tends to consist of two primary tasks. First, check the AC coil regularly and keep it clean so air can flow unrestricted. Second, check the wiring connections and tighten any that seem too loose. Wires that carry high amounts of electricity naturally loosen over time, creating a significant fire hazard. When in doubt about whether or not a particular wire is safe, don’t hesitate to call an electrician.

Additionally, check the manual for any recommendations or cautions from the manufacturer. Too many HVAC technicians forget the wealth of information that their manuals hold. Take advantage of this handy guide!

Birds-Eye View

Electric furnaces are 100% efficient, meaning that the homeowner gets heat from every bit of electricity they pay for. The only potential drawback to this is the cost of the electricity used to power the furnace. Depending on how cold the house gets and how often the furnace is used, this cost can add up quickly. Gas heating is generally cheaper even when you factor in its less than 100% efficiency rating. Not every homeowner can choose gas–the builder may have opted for electrical wiring as the cheaper initial option–but if your clients ask for a recommendation, gas heating is generally a better choice for them.

To summarize, the pros of an electric heater are as follows:

  • Cheap, easy installation

  • Cheap upfront cost for you and your client

  • No roof penetration necessary

The largest drawback of an electrical heater is simply the cost of the electricity used to power it.

Understanding Electric Heat Furnaces

In your HVAC career, you’ll be faced with a variety of challenges in a variety of settings. Differing machinery or systems are only the tip of the iceberg. By educating yourself on how a well-run system should function and understanding its pros and cons, you can provide better services to your clients and gain more business in the future.

Join the conversation to learn more about HVAC repairs and maintenance.

Electricity is everywhere. Your television, the car… even your watch. The influence of electricity on our society has revealed numerous possibilities that have changed the way that we live and operate. The benefits an electric world offers have even spread into how we heat our homes. Once the sole domain of fossil fuels, electricity has allowed us to develop ultra-efficient and sleek heating solutions that are better for both the environment and your wallet.

The concept of smart homes may have been around for a while, but the idea is becoming increasingly popular as technology develops and solutions become more affordable. When it comes to electric radiators and electric heaters, some allow you to control your heating in clever ways using AI assistants and apps on your smartphone. These allow you to micro-manage your central heating from anywhere, at any time, offering enhanced convenience and efficiency.

Page Contents:

What is electric heating?

Electric heating is the process of converting electrical current into heat energy. The heating element within an electric heater is called an electrical resistor, and when an electric current passes through the resistor, this is where the heat is created.

This process is commonly used in a wide variety of applications across the household. From cooking on an electric stove, boiling water in the kettle and, of course, home heating.

In terms of electric heaters and radiators, they work just like your plumbed central heating radiators, except for one key difference – they don’t rely on a boiler and a network of pipes to deliver the heat. This is beneficial as it allows greater control over the temperature of each unit. It also improves reliability, because if your boiler breaks your heating system remains fully functional, keeping your home nice and warm.

How do electric heaters work?

Electric heaters are often standalone units that use electrical elements to heat a core. There are two main types of core that are used in electric radiators and heaters; oil-filled and dry cores. Heaters and radiators with a dry core are often made of ceramic making them light weight and leak-free.

In operation, electricity is passed through the heating element inside the heater, utilising the electrical resistance to produce heat. As the element heats up, the heat energy is transferred to the core which is then conducted by the heater’s casing before, finally, being transferred to the surrounding air and keeping your home at a nice, comfortable temperature.

To learn more about the differences between oil-filled and ceramic core radiators, please read our blog on Ceramic Radiators vs Oil-Filled Radiators.

Why you should switch to an electric heater

There are plenty of reasons why you should switch to electric heating for your home but here are our top 3 reasons:

  • High energy efficiency – using an electrical element to heat a highly conductive core, such as thermal-fluid or ceramic, is far more efficient than heating water and delivering it across a network of pipes leading to reduced operational costs from traditional plumbed heaters and radiators.
  • Greater sustainability – the lack of combustion and harmful emissions from electric heaters makes them an eco-friendly heating solution for your home allowing you to save money and the planet!
  • Programmable – as each smart heater or radiator is its own standalone unit, you can create fully customised heating schedules and temperature levels for every room in your home so that, no matter the time of day or year, your home is always just the right temperature.

Looking for your own electrical heater?

All our heaters are compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa making them easy to control on the fly. Our Rio Eco smart heater is also compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, making it the ultimate hands and hassle-free heating solution. Smart heating just got smarter.

If you have any questions regarding our Rio Eco electric radiator, please visit our FAQ page where we have answered a handful of questions, we may have already answered yours! If we haven’t already answered yours, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team today who will be more than happy to help!

The Training Center of Air Conditioning & Heating

How Do Electric Heaters Work?

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