Basic Electric Heating System

By 12 October 2017

Electric-fired heat is the only heat produced almost as fast as the thermostat calls for it. It is almost instantaneous. There are no heat exchangers to warm up. The heating elements start producing heat the moment the thermostat calls for it. Various types of electric-fired furnaces are available. They can be bought in 5- to 35-kW sizes. The outside looks almost the same as the gas-fired furnace. The heating elements are located where the heat exchangers would normally be located. Since they draw high amperage, they need electrical controls that can take the high currents.

The operating principle is simple. The temperature selector on the thermostat is set for the desired temperature. When the temperature in the room falls below this setting, the thermostat calls for heat and causes the first heating circuit in the furnace to be turned on. There is generally a delay of about 15 s before the furnace blower starts. This prevents the blower from circulating cool air in the winter. After about 30 s, the second heating circuit is turned on. The other circuits are turned on one by one in a timed sequence.

When the temperature reaches the desired level, the thermostat opens. After a short time, the first heating circuit is shut off. The others are shut off one by one in a timed sequence. The blower continues to operate until the air temperature in the furnace drops below a specified temperature.