One of the things that make winters enjoyable is cozying up to the warmth indoors while the snow falls outside. Unfortunately, that’s hardly possible if your electric heater is blowing cold air instead of blowing hot air.

If you notice this happening in your home, don’t rush to call an HVAC technician just yet. The reason you have an electric heater blowing cold air could be one among several simple faults. 

In this short read, we’re going to show you how to find out why your heating system is out of whack and what you can do about it.

Causes and remedies

Why is my electric heater blowing cold air

The electric heater is a part of our home’s HVAC system, and like everything else, requires regular maintenance. Let’s take a look at some of the causes of electric heaters blowing cold air and what you as a homeowner can do about it.

Check the filters

Replace furnace filter

Just like with air conditioning, electric heaters also have filters, and if these filters get dirty, it could block the airflow to the heat exchanger. As a result, the whole furnace could overheat. 

Now furnaces have limit switches that get triggered for different reasons. One of them switches the furnace off if the temperature gets too hot. If the furnace has been switched off, you won’t get any hot air through the vents.

The solution is to change the furnace filters. Ideally, you ought to check on the furnace filters at least once a month and change the filters on time to prevent overheating. Here’s how to change the furnace filter.

  • Switch off the furnace. 
  • The furnace filter is usually located at the back of the furnace, behind an access panel.
  • Remove the filter and check its dimensions as printed on the frame.
  • Purchase and install a new furnace filter. There are usually arrows indicating the proper airflow direction and which way you ought to face it while installing it.

Check the thermostat 


Sometimes, something as silly as a thermostat setting that you overlooked or got wrong could be why your electric heater is blowing out cold air. Some newer thermostats with automatic settings also make mistakes in judging what the room temperature ought to be. But here are some things that you ought to check on your thermostat.

  • Check the fan settings on the thermostat. If the setting is “always-on”, then the fan will automatically blow cold air into your home when the furnace cuts off. Ideally, you ought to set it on “auto.”
  • The temperature setting may also go awry if you need to change the thermostat batteries but haven’t yet.
  • Sometimes, the thermostat may not have been properly calibrated with the furnace when it was installed. It would help to check your owner’s manual and calibrate it with your furnace once again.

Check your fuses and circuit breakers

Sometimes, electrical components stop working after a period of time and need to be replaced. Sometimes they blow up because of surges in power. Irrespective of whether you use a gas furnace or an electric furnace, a lot of the components still function using electricity. These components being damaged may be why your furnace is blowing cold air.

  • Locate the electrical panel of the heater. They normally look like large, gray boxes that are hidden from sight in garages or in basements. 
  • If your home uses fuses and a fuse has blown, replace it with a fuse of the same amperage, size, and type. 

However, most homes in our country work with electrical circuits instead of fuses. You ought to find a lot of circuit breakers when you open the electrical panel.

One of those is for the main power for your home. You do not want to touch that. Look for the one that powers your furnace. This should be easy to do if the breakers are labeled.

If there has been a power surge, you will find the breaker in the off position. All you need to do is turn it back on.

Check your blower motor

As your furnace keeps heating air, the blower motor is responsible for the fan that blows this air into the vents and distributes it to the different parts of your home. If this motor is burnt out, you will need to replace it, but doing this is best left to a professional technician.

Read more: DIY air conditioner maintenance checklist

Prevention is better than cure

Regular maintenance does not have to wait until things break down and you have a furnace blowing cold air into your home during the winter. Ideally, sticking to a regular maintenance schedule and conducting repairs before the winter months set in will make sure you stay warm and toasty when it starts getting cold. 

Also, keep in mind that furnaces, like all things with mechanical parts, undergo wear and tear. They have a shelf life of between 15 and 20 years, which means just because your furnace has heated your home for so long, it cannot do so indefinitely. It may be time for an HVAC inspection and for you to check if your home needs a new furnace.

Home maintenance: Why is my electric heater blowing cold air? was last modified: October 12th, 2022 by Narayan Shrouthy
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Never check the filter without a face mask.