Furnace Maintenance For A Gas And Electric Furnace Compared

Posted on: 7 May 2020


All types of furnaces need regular maintenance, but a gas furnace has special requirements due to the byproducts of combustion. Since heat is created with a flame, soot builds up inside the furnace and has to be cleaned off regularly. Here's a look at the differences between a gas and electric furnace and the types of maintenance they need.

An Electric Furnace Uses Heating Elements

An electric furnace creates heat by blowing air across a series of heating elements. These elements need to be cleaned at least once a year so they don't become a fire hazard. The elements also contain a number of electronic parts and wiring that needs to be checked, tightened, or replaced.

If something goes wrong with a heating element, your furnace may not blow warm air or your furnace might shut down. Keeping the elements well-maintained is essential for keeping your home warm with a furnace that operates efficiently.

A Gas Furnace Heats Air With Burners

While the focus on maintaining an electric furnace is on the electrical components and heating elements, the focus on maintaining a gas furnace is on the combustion area. A gas furnace creates heat when the pilot light ignites burners. The heat exchanger in the furnace transfers the heat to air that's blown through the system by the blower. The heated air is then moved through the ducts to warm your house.

Over time, the combustion area can become coated with soot, and as the soot builds up, the furnace can begin to malfunction. One important maintenance task for a gas furnace is to clean off soot because an accumulation of soot can cause the furnace to shut down for safety reasons.

Maintenance also includes checking for cracks in the heat exchanger and checking proper maintenance of the flue. Built-in safety features are tested to make sure the furnace is operating safely.

Additionally, a byproduct of gas-generated heat is carbon monoxide, so the furnace technician ensures there are no leaks and that the vent system works as intended so carbon monoxide doesn't leak out of the furnace.

Both Furnaces Require Maintenance On The Blower

While a gas and electric furnace have major differences, they also have similarities when it comes to maintenance. For instance, both blow air with the use of a motor and blower fan that needs to have regular maintenance.

Some parts that may need to be checked include the belt, bearings, electronic parts, the motor, and blower assembly. Some parts are cleaned so they're free of dust and others are tightened, replaced, or repaired as needed.

Air circulation is important for both types of furnaces. This requires a properly functioning blower system, and it also requires proper airflow through the filter and vents. A furnace maintenance technician checks all aspects of your furnace no matter what type of furnace you have so the risk of a breakdown or a safety hazard is reduced and so you get the most efficient heating from the unit.

To learn more about furnace maintenance, contact professional services in your area.