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How To Stop Your Furnace From Short-Cycling

Posted on February 11th, 2022 by Ken Lichamer

One of the most common problems encountered by those with a furnace is a process known as short-cycling. When this occurs, your furnace will operate for only a few minutes at a time. This only allows a small amount of heat to be distributed around your home, making it feel much colder than the temperature you set on your thermostat.

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How To Fix A Short-Cycling Furnace

In most cases, fixing a short cycling issue can be done by the homeowners instead of an HVAC contractor. We listed a few of the most common reasons your heating cycle is being cut short:

  • You’ve got a dirty air filter.
    • A furnace’s air filter protects your unit by preventing dirt, dandruff and other debris from entering it. As more debris gets trapped in the filter, air flowing into the furnace becomes restricted and can cause it to overheat.
    • To resolve this issue, you should change out the filter as soon as possible. Changing out this filter will not only protect your furnace from allergens and debris and help it run more efficiently. It’s recommended to change this filter every three to six months.
  • Your heat grates or exhaust fan is blocked.
    • The air processed within your furnace needs to go somewhere. Whether it’s the air that’s been processed or cool air that needs to be pushed out, the outflow from your furnace needs to be able to enter or escape your home. If this air cannot escape, then your furnace could overheat and completely break down.
    • To fix or prevent this issue from occurring you need to make sure the majority of your home’s heat grates are open when your furnace kicks on. The exhaust vent located outside of your home also needs to be clear of snow, ice and debris. If you notice any nesting materials around your exhaust vent, then it’s important to let an animal control specialist clear it for you.
  • The location of your thermostat is influencing your furnace.
    • The placement of your thermostat is important because it tells your furnace when it should kick on. Placing it in an area that receives direct sunlight, on an exterior wall of your home, near vents or on a wall close to the furnace can give your thermostat an incorrect temperature reading.
    • To prevent any incorrect readings, make sure your thermostat is centrally located, away from windows, heating grates, and the walls that surround your furnace’s room.

Short-Cycling Causes That Require Help From An HVAC Contractor

There are a few, more technical reasons that could cause your furnace to short cycle. Your system could have a bad flame sensor, an overheating malfunction, or be too large for your space. These issues could lead to higher energy bills, dramatic temperature swings in your home or irreparable damage to your heat exchanger.

If you think your furnace is short-cycling due to any of the technical issues listed above, then you need to contact a local heating repair company as soon as possible.

The Reliable Heating Company of Palatine, Illinois

Don’t stress yourself by trying to resolve your HVAC system’s issues alone. Let a reliable heating and air conditioning company resolve any issues and ensure your system is working properly. At Five Star Heating and Air, our certified and insured technicians will thoroughly check your system, clean and address any problems promptly.

For repair services, maintenance or a new system installation, you can book with us online or give us a call at 847-359-4534.

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