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How a Faulty Relay Affects Your Electric Furnace

    Furnaces have used an astonishing array of different fuel sources in their long history of providing people with heat during the chilly season. Eventually, the furnace entered the electrical age, and many of the most popular models today use the power channeled right into your home to provide an alternative to burning fuels like propane, gas, or oil.

    Electric furnaces do come with their own specific set of repair issues, however. We’re going to discuss one in this post: the faulty relay. If you encounter this kind of trouble with your electric furnace, call up the Atlanta, GA furnace repair experts at Comfort Zone Heating & Air.

    The troubles with faulty relays

    The electric relay in a furnace is responsible for relaying electrical power to the heating elements and the blower motor inside the furnace cabinet. The heating elements provide the heat to warm the air, and the blower motor sends this warmed air through the ductwork. The thermostat switches the relay to “closed” position when heat is called for, sending electrical power, and then to “open” position when the furnace reaches the indoor target temperature, cutting off the power. The relay is therefore crucial for the furnace’s operation.

    You might at first imagine that a faulty relay will cause the furnace’s heating elements and fans to fail to turn on. That is definitely one possibility. But another problem that occurs just as frequently from a faulty relay is that the heating elements and the blower fan will refuse to shut off. The reason for this is that the relay could become “welded” into the closed position and continues to allow power through to the heating elements and the fans. Over time—and without proper maintenance—the amps passing through the relay can cause it to heat up so much that its contacts will stick.

    Caution: don’t try to fix this yourself

    Electric furnaces do not have the danger of exposure to toxic or explosive gas that natural gas furnaces do; however, that doesn’t mean it’s safe for you to fiddle around inside the cabinet trying to perform haphazard repairs without the proper training. A high voltage shock is always a possibility, and you could easily damage other parts inside the cabinet. Call in an electrical repair specialist with solid HVAC credentials to investigate the problems with your furnace and apply safe and effective repairs.

    Comfort Zone Heating & Air provides quality furnace repair to Atlanta, GA, and our 24/7 emergency service means you never have to wait too long to get your home warm again. Call us whenever your electric furnace misbehaves, and whether it’s a faulty relay or another malfunction, we can fix it!