Electric ovens are very efficient cooking appliances, but they take some time to heat up to cooking temperatures. But why would an electric oven work slowly and take too long to heat?
An electric oven model will heat up slower than others if it has hidden heating elements. For example, suppose your oven takes far too long to heat up. In that case, it’s because of leaking hot air, power supply problems, worn-out heating elements, or a faulty main control board.
Keep reading to discover why your electric oven is heating too slowly and what you can do to solve the problem.
Average Electric Oven Heating Times
Before assuming that your oven is heating too slowly, it’s crucial to understand what’s expected in electric oven heating times.
For starters, most electric ovens on the market heat up faster than gas models. However, the exact heating times for those ovens will depend on what model and brand you own.
The unique design of each model affects how it transfers heat from the element to the rest of the compartment.
Still, here are some average heating times that you can expect from electric ovens:
- To reach 350 degrees Fahrenheit: 15 minutes.
- To reach 400 degrees Fahrenheit: 17 minutes.
- To reach 450 degrees Fahrenheit: 22 minutes.
You can also check your oven’s user manual to find information about how fast the unit heats up to cooking temperature.
Based on those numbers, you can get a very accurate sense of whether or not your oven is taking too long to heat up.
Take Safety Precautions!
Before troubleshooting your electric oven, always remember to take precautionary steps. Doing so will prevent you from suffering injuries like burns or electrocution.
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So, before you inspect your oven, remember to:
- Disconnect the oven from its power supply or shut off its dedicated circuit breaker.
- Give the oven at least 45 minutes to cool down completely.
- Wear hand protection like oven mitts to protect your hands.
- Avoid touching metal and glass parts of your oven, as they hold a lot of heat.
Lastly, keep your oven user manual nearby for easy reference. Now, you’re ready to troubleshoot your slowly-heating electric oven!
Why Does My Electric Oven Heat So Slowly?
Here are 5 top reasons why your electric oven is heating so slowly.
#1 Hidden Heating Elements
Not all electric ovens are made the same, even by the same manufacturer. Those different designs can have a significant difference in how fast they heat up.
For example, if you find that your new electric oven takes longer to heat up than the old one, take a look at its heating elements.
Many electric ovens conceal or hide their heating elements underneath the bottom panel instead of leaving them exposed. While that design makes the oven look neater inside, it also delays the heating process.
Simply put, a heating element that’s hidden away will not have optimal airflow. So, it’ll end up heating the oven’s floor before that heat enters the compartment to cook your food.
In these ovens, slow heating isn’t a sign of a problem. Instead, it’s just a side-effect of the oven’s design. So, if you’re shopping for an oven that heats up faster, choose a model with exposed heating elements.
#2 Oven Leaking Hot Air
Of course, the slow heating of an electric oven can also indicate several different problems with the appliance. One of the most likely reasons is that the oven is leaking hot air.
An electric oven must be airtight to work correctly and trap all hot air inside. That will allow the air temperature to rise until it reaches the cooking temperature you’ve selected.
However, that process will become less efficient if some of that hot air escapes. There are two possible reasons behind this:
- Damaged oven door seal: The seal is attached to the oven door and ensures it forms an airtight seal when the door is closed. That way, the oven can trap all of its hot air. Hot air will escape and delay the heating process when the seal is damaged.
- Damaged oven door hinges: Hinges allow the door to open and close easily and perfectly align with the rest of the appliance. When they become bent or broken, the door can’t shut firmly, preventing the oven from trapping heat inside. As a result, hot air will escape, and the oven takes too long to reach cooking temperatures.
In both cases, the solution is to replace the affected part. So, for example, you’ll have to remove the existing door seal and attach a new one.
The process to replace damaged hinges takes a bit more effort. You’ll have to remove the whole oven door, install new hinges, then reattach the door.
#3 Power Supply Problems
Another reason for slow heating is that the oven is experiencing power supply problems.
An electric oven’s power supply is quite different from other appliances. Even though they rely on one power plug or cable, the supply consists of two voltage legs, each carrying half of what the oven needs to function.
So, suppose the wall socket or plug is faulty. In that case, it could prevent your electric oven from receiving the complete supply of voltage that it needs to heat up quickly. Your oven will still heat up, though it’ll take much longer than usual to do so.
To resolve this issue, you must troubleshoot the oven’s wall socket, plug, and wiring to find the root of the problem.
Remember: electrical troubleshooting like this can be pretty dangerous. So if you’re not sure of what you’re doing, don’t hesitate to call a qualified electrician to do it for you, instead.
#4 Heating Elements Wearing Out
When troubleshooting your oven, be sure to inspect the heating elements as well.
Your oven has one or more heating elements inside, typically located at the bottom, top, or back of the compartment.
Inside each heating element is a wire with high electrical resistance, causing it to heat up whenever power flows through it. The wire is wrapped in metal insulation that keeps it safe while still transferring heat to the rest of the oven.
In some electric oven models, the heating elements are hidden. Therefore, you can only access those elements by removing the panel that conceals them.
Unfortunately, as a heating element repeatedly heats up and cools down over the years, it’ll begin to wear out. As that happens, the element will weaken and can’t generate heat as effectively as before.
So, once you’ve ruled out other possibilities and find that your heating elements are becoming worn out, you must replace them with new ones.
#5 Faulty Main Control Board
Once you’ve finished ruling out all of the four possibilities above, it’s time to consider that your oven’s primary control board might be at fault here.
The main control board is the brain of the entire appliance. It’s a printed circuit board that controls how your oven heats up, along with its other functions as well.
The main control board can become faulty due to:
- An electrical fault, like a short circuit or power surge, damages its components.
- Excess heat in the main control board housing that damages it.
A faulty control board can cause the oven to malfunction in ways like:
- The board fails to send enough power to the heating elements to raise the oven’s temperature.
- The board mistakenly turns on a ventilation fan even when it shouldn’t. As a result, the oven struggles to reach your set temperature.
Once you’ve confirmed that the main control board is the root cause of your problem, you must replace it with a new one. Unfortunately, it’s not practical for you to repair the main control board or its components.