My Furnace Keeps Short Cycling. What Is Going On?
A furnace that is short cycling can be a frustrating issue when you are trying to keep warm.
Does your furnace keep turning on and back off in a short period of time? This is what is called short cycling.
A short cycling furnace can be a frustrating issue to have.
Unfortunately, after not being used all spring and summer, some furnaces have some issues when it comes to firing up for the first time in the fall.
Common causes of short cycling furnace include:
- Dirty filters
- Oversized Furnace
- Faulty Thermostat
- Blocked Exhaust Vents
- Blocked Air Vents
- Bad Flame Sensor
Dirty Furnace Filters
Dirty air filters are one of the top causes of furnace and air conditioner break downs.
If your filter hasn’t been changed in a while, go ahead and take a look at it. Keep in a mind a brand new filter should be white in color.
If you have a clogged air filter, not much air will be able to pass through it and it can cause your furnace to overheat, tripping the limit switch which is a safety feature built into your furnace to prevent a fire from occurring.
This is a simple fix that could prevent a future furnace repair.
Furnace Is Oversized
This type of issue is unfortunately only fixed by having your current furnace removed and the correctly sized furnace installed.
If you have an oversized furnace for your home, it will end up using much more energy than needed.
This ultimately means that the warmer air will not be properly distributed throughout your home.
Your home will heat for a very short period of time, and then the furnace will kick right back on again, continuing to short cycle.
This is not good for your furnace’s overall health.
Not only will it increase your monthly energy bills, but it will also cause unneeded wear and tear on your furnace’s expensive parts.
A furnace that is oversized will wear down its heat exchanger much faster than one that is properly sized.
If you believe your furnace is too big, you will need to have a professional HVAC company out to take a look and verify its heating capacity.
Some thermostats can be finicky.
Your furnace only does what your thermostat tells it to do.
If your furnace is short cycling on a continual basis, the fix may be as simple as replacing your current thermostat with a new one.
You can either buy one yourself at the store, or have a professional install one for you.
Also be sure to check the location of your thermostat in your home. Is it in direct sunlight during the day?
If so, this can cause to think it’s warmer in the home than it actually is.
The ideal location for your thermostat should be on an interior wall in a highly occupied area.
It should not be located near any windows where sunlight or drafts can affect it’s temperature reading of the home.
Blocked Exhaust Vent
If you have a high efficiency heating and cooling system, it will vent out the side of your home via white pvc piping.
During the fall and winter months, it is sometimes possible for this exhaust vent to become clogged with leaves and snow, preventing the furnace from venting properly and causing it to short cycle.
This problem is not only bad for your hvac system but can be dangerous to your health as carbon monoxide can begin to leak into your home instead of venting outside correctly.
Blocked Air Vents
Sometimes air vents are put in inconvenient locations in homes and people just cover them up with couches and other furniture.
If you have some air vents in your home covered up, this could be the cause of your furnace short cycling.
Blocked air vents will prevent warm air from heating your home properly and will also shorten its overall lifespan.
Bad Flame Sensor
If your furnace starts and then shuts off almost immediately, a bad flame sensor may be the culprit.
A flame sensor’s job is to tell the furnace that a flame is actually present when the gas is being released.
This part is actually a safety component of your furnace in that the furnace will not run if a flame is not present.
Without a flame sensor, your furnace would just leak gas into your home even though no flame is actually present.
This would be a very dangerous situation!