furnace short cycling

Furnace Short-Cycling: Do You Have This Problem?   

Furnace short-cycling is when your furnace turns on and off frequently without any apparent reason. While the sound itself might be irritating, it’s the misfiring that is the real concern. Even if the furnace is heating your house, there is clearly something wrong if it turns on and off more than eight times per hour.

If you have this problem, try some our tips below to see if you can correct it.

Check the Air Filter

One reason for furnace short-cycling is an overloaded, dirty air filter. When the air filter is clogged, it doesn’t allow the heated air to pass over the exchanger. This can lead to overheating, and the furnace likely shuts down to prevent this from happening.

Check the filter and replace it if it’s severely clogged. If it’s a washable filter, rinse it, dry it and put it back. If the problem remains, there might be another reason for the furnace short-cycling.

Check the Thermostat

Next, check your home’s thermostat. If your thermostat runs on batteries, furnace short-cycling could be a sign that the battery is running low. It could be misjudging the temperature indoors or simply telling your furnace to shut off prematurely, incorrectly. Once you replace the batteries, let the system run for another few hours and see if the problem corrects itself.

Another factor to consider is where your thermostat is located. If you have a space heater right next to the thermostat, it could be affecting its reading. Turn it off and see if the problem disappears.

Check Your Insulation

Finally, consider the insulation in your home. Are your windows letting in cold drafts? Could they benefit from re-caulking? Are any doors left open? Make sure your home is adequately trapping the hot air the furnace produces.

Serious Problems Require the Help of a Pro

If none of these quick fixes helps eliminate furnace short-cycling, there could be a more serious cause — an overheating issue, corroded flame sensors, something lodged in the system. Or the furnace might be the wrong size for your home.

You won’t know for sure until you have a professional take a look. HVAC issues shouldn’t be put off — a well-functioning furnace is vital to your comfort and your safety. Call Roberts Mechanical now for furnace short-cycling service. We offer responsive, affordable repairs when you need them.