Short Cycling Furnaces and How to Fix Them

October 7, 2018 7:19 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

With temperatures dropping, homeowners and business owners are preparing to turn on their furnaces and heat their buildings to a comfortable level. Normal furnaces will run for a standard amount of time—usually a few minutes—then turn off until more heat is needed. However, furnaces may sometimes encounter an issue where they run too often.

This problem is called short cycling. If you hear your furnace kick on and off repeatedly within an hour and are simultaneously experiencing insufficient or uneven heat in your building, your furnace might be short cycling. There are a few things you can do to try to fix it yourself, but you may need to call for furnace repair in Central Kansas to have the issue taken care of before winter settles in.

What does short cycling mean?

Short cycling occurs when the furnace starts and stops too quickly, running too often throughout the day. Usually, a short cycling furnace will run for a few seconds (a minute max), then stop for a similar amount of time before turning back on.

It can sometimes be difficult to identify short cycling. Well-functioning furnaces will turn on and off between three and eight times in an hour and run for at least a few minutes at a time.

Short cycling hurts you in more than one way. First, it can drive up your utility bills because your system is running more often than it should, using more energy in the process. Second, the consistent running can wear out the parts in your furnace. This means that belts, fans and other components will probably need to be replaced sooner than they normally would have to be, costing you extra.

Reasons why furnaces short-cycle

There are a few main reasons why your furnace might be short cycling. The first and most common problem is overheating. Most furnaces have a safety feature that helps them turn the heat off if the furnace gets too hot. Overheating is dangerous, both because it can damage the furnace and because it can lead to carbon monoxide leaks in your home. When the furnace shuts down before it’s done heating, it may take a short while to cool off, then start again, causing short cycling. Check your furnace for possible causes of overheating, including dirty air filters and tight spaces where the furnace doesn’t have the ability to ventilate properly.

Another common cause of short cycling is the thermostat going bad. An old thermostat may be causing the furnace to run faultily, resulting in extremely short run times and inefficient heating in your home. Messing with your thermostat’s wiring can be dangerous, so call a professional to have it checked out if you think this is the issue.

Finally, a less common cause is that you may have too large of a furnace for your home. You’d think a large furnace would bring extra heat, but this isn’t the case. If the furnace is inappropriately sized for the space, it won’t heat the home properly because it is overpowered and works too quickly, causing it to turn on too often throughout the day. This also sucks up way more energy than it should, driving up your electric bills.

Get help from the furnace professionals

If your furnace is short cycling, check it out to see if you can identify the cause. It may be a simple fix, like changing out your air filter, or it may require more intricate problem solving. If you can’t identify the problem, call K V K Inc. Our HVAC experts offer top-quality furnace repair in Central Kansas and can get your furnace back up and running smoothly in no time!

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