If you’ve had your furnace for at least one winter season, you know what noises to expect from it. And you know when to expect them. A furnace has a heating cycle it goes through as it reaches the temperature set on the thermostat and then shuts itself off again until it’s needed once more. The cycle isn’t a brief start-and-stop process: when your home’s furnace comes on, you can expect it to stay running for more than fifteen minutes.
If your furnace is continuously running and shutting off multiple times an hour, it’s going through something called furnace short-cycling. If you’re not concerned about it, you should be—short-cycling puts immense strain on a furnace’s components, leading to it rapidly wear down. It will also raise your heating bills.
Why is this happening?
There are a number of possibilities.
A clogged air filter
A common cause of furnace short cycling is clogged air filters. If the air filter for the HVAC system is clogged with dust and debris, it prevents sufficient amounts of incoming air from passing over the heat exchanger. The furnace will overheat, and this will trigger the limit switch to shut the system down early. Change the filter for a new one to prevent your furnace from continuously running and shutting off.
A malfunctioning thermostat
A thermostat sensing the wrong temperatures will cause furnace short cycling issues in your home. The thermostat may also be in the wrong part of the house, where it receives extra heat from light or another heat source and registers “ghost readings.” Fixing the thermostat requires a professional.
An oversized furnace
A new furnace that starts to short-cycle may have received a poor installation. If the furnace is too powerful for the space it’s supposed to heat (i.e. it’s oversized), then it will raise the temperature so rapidly that the thermostat will prematurely cause the furnace to run and then shut off. The only solution to this problem is to have professionals replace the furnace with a correctly sized one.
Reliable Heating Services for Homes
WM Henderson provides heating services for small to large homes such as furnace repair, boiler installation, and heat pump replacement. Give us a call by phone at (484) 474-5373 to receive assistance. We offer HVAC repair and installation services in areas such as West Chester, Coatesville, and Broomall, Pennsylvania.
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