Electric Heating System Basic Operation

By 2 August 2014

In Fig. 2-2, the electrical heating system has a few more controls than the basic gas-fired furnace. The low-resistance element used for heating draws a lot of current, so the main contacts have to be of sufficient size to handle the current.

The thermostat closes and completes the circuit to the heating sequencer coil. The sequencer coil heats the bimetal strip that causes the main contacts to close. Once the main contacts are closed, the heating element is in the circuit and across the 240-V line. The auxiliary contacts will also close at the same time as the main contacts. When the auxiliary contacts close, they complete the low-voltage circuit to the fan relay. The furnace fan will be turned on at this time.

Once the thermostat has been satisfied, it opens. This allows the heating sequencer coil to cool down slowly. Thus, the main contacts do not open immediately to remove the heating element from the line. So the furnace continues to produce heat after the thermostat has been satisfied. The bimetal cools down in about 2 min. Once it cools, it opens the main and auxiliary contacts, which removes the heating element from the line and also stops the fan motor. After the room cools down below the thermostat setting, the thermostat closes and starts the sequence all over again.