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What Is an Electric Furnace Sequencer?

The most common type of heating unit used in homes in the United States is the furnace—more specifically, the gas furnace. Gas furnaces offer a slight benefit over electric models in that they run via the natural gas line, which is generally a less expensive fuel. However, an electric furnace gives those without access to a natural gas line the same opportunity to heat their home with a reliable source of forced-air heating.

Electric furnaces are relatively low maintenance, safe, and they are one of the least expensive heating systems to install. They can be located in small spaces like closets and there is no need to install a venting system for combustion byproducts. And over the years, manufacturers have developed many parts to improve operation, one of which is the sequencer.

How A Furnace Operates

To understand how the sequencer works, you must first know a bit about how these units operate. The main parts of an electric furnace are the blower, filter, and a cabinet containing the heating elements. The heating section contains rows of coiled nickel chrome wire connected with ceramic insulators. Although multiple heating elements are necessary to provide the proper level of heating, if every heating element were to come on at once, the unit may overheat. That’s where the sequencer comes into play.

The sequencer’s role is to act on a time delay and turn on each individual heating element or small groups of heating elements one after another. Sometimes, multiple sequencers are necessary to achieve this. The time interval used for the heating elements is in place upon manufacturing and cannot be set, although some manufacturers offer sequencers with varying time delays. For safety purposes and to comply with codes, the blower fan must come on as soon as the first element heats up and when the last element shuts off.

If the sequencer stops working due to improper voltage or a worn out contact, it will most likely need to be replaced, though sometimes only the contacts are replaced. This is tested with an ohmmeter and some professional knowledge about what indicates a faulty sequencer.

Call Intelligent Air Services today to learn more about electric heat, or to schedule repairs, maintenance, or installation for all types of furnaces in Austin, TX.

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