A furnace or other types of HVAC equipment can experience many performance problems. A common one is frequent kicks stops and starts. This is known as short cycling and is an indicator of a problem with your unit.
KS Services gives you more information about furnace short cycling below – contact us if you experience this problem with your furnace or other HVAC equipment.
What Is Furnace Short Cycling?
A furnace short cycles when it turns on and off frequently. Short cycling causes the unit to draw more electricity, resulting in higher energy bills. If left unchecked, a furnace which cycles on and off frequently experiences damage and shortens its useful life.
Causes of Furnace Short Cycling
Many issues cause your system to short cycle. The main factors behind short cycling include:
Clogged air filters
Clogged air filters prevent furnaces from moving air to the heat exchanger. This overheats the heat exchanger, shutting down the system. Once cooled, the system initiates again, but with the dirty filter still in place, the problem persists.
Change your air filters on a regular basis to prevent airflow obstructions, overheating and short cycling.
Improper thermostat location
When thermostats are located near heat sources, improper readings occur. The thermostat detects a warmer temperature, shuts off the heat, then detects cold quickly and turns the heat on again.
Moving the thermostat to a more appropriate location can stop this type of short cycling.
Corroded flame sensors
Flame sensors in furnaces let the system know if a flame exists and if a gas valve is open. When no flame exists, the sensor closes the gas valve to prevent leaks.
When flame sensors become corroded or even caked with dirt, they cannot detect the flame. In turn, they shut off the gas valve, resulting in short cycling. This issue requires professional repair service.
Blocked exhaust vents
The exhaust vents or flue pipes allow hot gases from combustion to safely exit. When these vents are blocked, it overheats. Safety controls take over to turn the heat off, resulting in short cycling.
Blockages may be caused by debris or animal nests. Have a KS Services NATE-certified technician inspect this issue, as failing to turn off the heating unit before an inspection can expose you to toxic gases
Furnaces too big for a home will short cycle. Oversized furnaces heat the home too fast, reaching the turn-off point too quickly. As the home cools, the cycle continues.
If you replace the oversized system with a unit properly sized for your home it will eliminate size-related short cycling issues.
What to Do if Your Furnace is Short Cycling
If you notice your furnace cycles on and off frequently, something is wrong with the system. Checking and changing air filters can easily and safely be done yourself, while other causes of furnace short cycling should be inspected and repaired by our NATE-certified technicians.
If your furnace is kicking on and off frequently, it’s time to call for help. Contact KS Services today and we will dispatch one of our NATE-certified technicians to diagnose and repair your system.