When you use your furnace you expect it to warm your home to the desired temperature you set. If you happen to notice your furnace turning on and off repeatedly before it reaches the desired temperature, your furnace is short-cycling. This constant start and stop cycle won’t get your home properly warm and can also damage your furnace. It’s important to know why your furnace is short-cycling and how to fix it.
1. Furnace is Overheating
A common reason for your furnace to short-cycle is from overheating and turning itself off to prevent any damages. The reason why it’s overheating is because of possibly vents being blocked, a dirty air filter, or a blocked exhaust vent. Having it overheat can lead to cracks in the heat exchanger, which can lead to carbon monoxide leaks into your home. It’s important to get this looked at by a professional HVAC technician to handle an issue like this and repair it.
2. The Furnace is Too Big For Your Home
Some people might think “bigger is better” when it comes to your furnace, but this isn’t true. Having a larger furnace can cause it to short-cycle more often because of its larger size in trying to rapidly heat your home. This can put stress on the components and lead to breakdowns faster. As well as more energy is being wasted because of the constant short-cycling, so you’ll be paying more on energy bills. To fix this it’s important to replace it with a proper sized furnace.
3. Thermostat Malfunctioning
A possible cause of your furnace not working properly is your thermostat malfunctioning. The thermostat is telling the furnace the set temperature has been met even though it hasn’t and causes the furnace to turn off. If your thermostat is battery operated, switch the batteries out and see if it fixed itself. If not, have your thermostat looked at by a professional HVAC technician to figure out why it’s malfunctioning.
4. Problems with Flame Sensor
If there’s issues with your flame sensor being dirty or corroded it can cause your furnace to short-cycle often. Flame sensors are used to let your system know there’s a flame when the gas valve is open. If there’s issues with the flame sensor, it won’t register the flame so it’ll turn off the gas valve and lead it to shut down. This issue can be solved by cleaning or replacing the flame sensor done by a professional HVAC technician.
5. Furnace Filter is Dirty
Having a dirty filter can lead your furnace to short-cycle and start to overheat. If the filter is clogged or dirty it will prevent the air from returning to the furnace, which will cause it to overheat and turn off. If you notice hotter than normal air coming out of the heat grates, it means your furnace is getting overheated and will shut off. Changing your filter every 90 days is important to not cause your furnace to short-cycle and bring in clean air to your home.
6. Clogged Flue
A vent pipe or flue is a metal tube that takes the combustion gasses through the roof to expel outside. It can get damaged or clogged by something falling in or a bird making a nest over it. This will cause the furnace to shut down to protect your home from carbon monoxide and other dangers.
Experiencing short-cycling from your furnace can be an issue for your home and can have your furnace break down prematurely. It’s important to get it looked at right away so you don’t get stuck in the middle of winter with your furnace turning on and off frequently. Our expert team at Omni Air HVAC can solve any issues your furnace is having and keep your house warm all winter long. Call us now to get your furnace inspected before the winter season hits.