How to Troubleshoot Electric Furnaces. A faulty electric furnace is a cause of discomfort and a potentially dangerous hazard. It's important to troubleshoot your electric furnace as soon as you detect problems so that you can find a quick fix or call a repairman. Follow these steps to troubleshoot an electric furnace.
Turn the electric furnace off. This may seem like an obvious step, but many people either neglect its importance or forget to do it. You have to flip the on-off switch on the furnace itself, and not just turn the thermostat down, in order to safely troubleshoot the machine.
Check for burnt-out wires and parts. Electric furnaces, and the wires that keep them running, handle huge loads of electricity. Often, the wires burn out and sever the connection. Check for burned or loose wires to make sure that your problem is not simply a matter of wiring.
Test furnace elements with a clamp-on ammeter. A clamp-on ammeter is a simple device that lets you troubleshoot an electric furnace by seeing exactly which wires are drawing current. Test each of the wires to see which, if any, is not drawing current properly. Replace any wires that you find to be defective.
Check breakers and fuses inside the heat handler. Another common problem with electric heating is that the fuses have simply gone bad. The fuses are shotgun shell-sized cylinders with metal on either end. You can use an electrical test multimeter to test each of the fuses. You also can simply buy new ones to replace the old ones.