An oven has an average life expectancy of 14 years, but, according to the National Association of Home Builders, this number varies based on installation, maintenance and usage. Over a period of time, the oven may not heat to the desired temperature and will require troubleshooting to diagnose and fix the problem. Unlike some appliances that contain sealed components that involve replacing entire segments of the machine, most ovens use easily accessible, individual components that make it easier and less expensive to perform repairs.
A faulty heating element may be preventing the oven from reached the desired temperature. As its name implies, the heating element heats the inside of the oven. If there is a problem with the heating element, it will not reach the desired temperature and, eventually, it may fail to work at all.
Clock Oven Control Board
An issue with the oven’s clock control board may thwart its efforts to reach the correct temperature. The clock contains a relay, and if this part is malfunctioning, the control board will not calculate or send the required information. As a result, the oven will not receive the sufficient amount of electricity to reach the correct temperature -- even if this information has been keyed into the control panels.
The oven may not reach its intended temperature because of a problem with the oven’s thermostat. This object has a sensing bulb, which may have fallen out of its container. In addition, the thermostat itself may be defective, or it may just need calibrating. The calibration process may vary by oven model, and the manufacturer can provide the correct calibration steps.
Wiring shortages may hinder the oven from reaching the proper temperature. Wiring is an intricate part of the oven, and the wires to the heating element are essential to producing the desired temperature. If one of the wires has burned out or is broken, there will not be a connection with the heating element.
On its troubleshooting website page, Amana Appliances provides several tips to ensure the oven reaches the desired temperature. Always be sure to preheat the oven to the recommended temperature before placing food in the appliance. Also, if the oven is new, do not rely on the temperatures and bake times used for the previous oven; experiment with the new appliance and make adjustments as necessary. In addition, some recipes require room-temperature ingredients, and baking refrigerated items may result in food that does not appear to have reached the appropriate temperature.
To provide proper airflow, there should be at least a 2-inch clearance on all four sides of the baking pans or sheets. Aluminum foil should not be used on the bottom of the oven and should not cover the entire rack area since it also prohibits airflow. For best results, Amana recommends the use of light-colored pans; dark-colored pan and heavily used pans with dark spots soak up a disproportionate amount of heat, which can result in burn spots.
- National Association of Home Builders: Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components
- ApplianceAssistant.com: Cooking with Current
- Appliance Blog: Oven Not Heating to Selected Temperature
- Old Republic Home Protection Company, Inc: Quick Fix Tips: Cooktop/Oven Range
- Amana: Why Is My Oven Not Heating Properly/Baking Evenly?
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images