Why Is My Electric Heater Blowing Cold Air?

It is so unwelcoming to go home from work and find a cold house or environment. Due to this, people always buy electric heaters to keep them warm during the winter or the cold nights. However, you might find that the heater does not generate heat in some cases, but it blows out cold air instead.

Different reasons may make the electric heater serve the opposite of its purpose. When this happens, you do not have to throw your heater because it is easy to troubleshoot such problems. But, on the other hand, you might find that the heater requires just a minor fixing to go back to its normal functioning. So it’s good to check the condition of the heater before jumping into other alternatives.

Reasons for an electric heater blowing cold air

If your electric heater is blowing cold air, there might be some problems with it. Below are the most common reasons why the electric heater is blowing cold air.

1. Thermostat problems

why is my electric heater blowing cold air

First, if your heater blows cold air, it is essential to check on the thermostat. Most of the time, the cause of the heater blowing cold air is the thermostat. In most cases, electric heaters have multiple settings to blow the cold air and warm air. Confirm the temperature to make sure that the heater is set to heat.

 It is always good to check the thermostat when cold air is blown through your heater, no matter the HVAC system you are using. If the thermostat has the correct settings and the heater still blows the cold air, you might need a repair professional.

2. The furnace might be overheating

The furnace might be overheating

In some cases, when you switch on the heater, the furnace will blow hot air, and after a few minutes, it blows cold air, and finally, it stops working completely. In such a scenario, check whether the furnace is working correctly. Also, such a problem occurs when the furnace has overheated, and the furnace burners are turned off.

The furnace might be overheating due to many things, such as dirty filters. Dirty filters will block the airflow and cause the filter to take a long to blow warm air, thereby resulting in overheating of the furnace. Unfortunately, this problem has very few ‘do it yourself solutions,’ and therefore, it is necessary to call a professional to troubleshoot the problem.

3. The ductwork

The ductwork

After turning on the electric heater, the exchange of the will does not always take place immediately. It will take some time for the heated air to move throughout the house. The initial heating time of the heater might be longer if the ductwork is poorly insulated.

Again, the door space will experience compromised heating when the ducts have leakages. The cold air inside the ventilation will flow out and make the room colder instead of warming it regardless of the heater being turned on. To troubleshoot the problem, ensure that there are no openings in the ventilation in the house.

4. The filters are dirty

 The filters are dirty

Most people find it challenging to clean their heaters. When the filters are blocked, the electric heater will blow cold air. Therefore it is necessary to check the filters when you notice that the heater is blowing cold air. To inspect the filter, ensure that you turn off the heater first to avoid dangers such as shock.

If the filter is filled with dust, that might be why the heater is not functioning perfectly. Also, when the vents are clogged, the ventilation is limited, and the coils will freeze, thereby preventing further airflow. Due to that, the electric heater starts blowing out cold air.

5. Electric panel problem

Electric panel problem

Despite the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, the heater requires electricity to run. There might be a breaker that has been tripped inside the electrical panel. Due to this, the furnace will not start, and the pilot light will also remain off. Such a scenario will cause the heater to blow cold air. It is advisable to seek assistance from a professional if you are faced with such a problem.

6. Problem with the heat pumps

Problem with the heat pumps

Heat pumps are designed to emit colder air than the gas furnace and the electric furnace. If the temperature outside is very cold, the heat pumps use the auxiliary heat strips. When the heat strips stop functioning, the heat pump blows cold air. The pump requires sufficient levels of refrigerant. When the levels of refrigerant are low, the pump will not efficiently transfer the heat. If the problem persists, call a professional to check the levels of refrigerant and the heat strips.

7. The heat sensor may not be working

The heat sensor may not be working

The electric heater has a heat sensor that ensures that heat is produced. Once the heater has heated the house to the point that the thermostat will turn on, the sensor turns off the blower fan. If the sensor fails, it will not signal the fan to turn off, and therefore, the electric heater will continue to run without generating heat. The heater will be blowing cold air.

8. The heater needs to warm up

The heater needs to warm up

The electric coil in the heater will heat up very quickly. When the furnace blower starts, it will blow out unheated air before it blows the heated air through the grates. If the house is too big, it might take a longer time to warm up and the heated air to reach you. In such a case, it is advisable to be patient and wait for some minutes to see whether the air warms up. If it fails, then it means that the heater has a problem that needs to be taken care of.


In conclusion, the problems above are the most common and always result when the electric heater cannot heat the air. Therefore, the cold air blows from the vents instead of the warm air that you need. Despite what is making the heater blow the cold air, you can always solve that problem.

Finally, this guide covers almost all the problems causing the electric heater to blow cold air. When faced with such a problem, go through the above problems as you troubleshoot them. However, when the electric heater still blows the cold air, call the service of a professional, licensed, and insured technician near you.

How to repair(fix) electric central heating system furnace, no heat blowing, not heating problem. Blower motor not running, no power. A highly comprehensive, step by step troubleshooting guide to assist you in repairing your Electric Central Heating System. After watching this video, you shouldn’t have any trouble identifying the problem with your electric furnace. This video will save you A LOT of money on a service call. I limit questions to one per viewer. If you require more assistance(multiple questions up to 5, or would like me to look at photos to help you troubleshoot your system), then you’ll need to compensate me for my time(which I really don’t have) by making a small but reasonable donation at the link below. I no longer have free time to assist everyone with their repairs as I have done in the past. Too many viewers take videos like this for granted. This video is an excellent tool to assist you, so use it well. Enjoy

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