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Furnace short cycling is a common and frustrating problem for many homeowners. It occurs when the furnace turns on and off frequently, instead of running in longer cycles as it should. This not only leads to discomfort but also puts unnecessary strain on the furnace, potentially causing damage and increasing energy bills.

In this article, we will discuss the most common causes of furnace short cycling and provide solutions for addressing the issue. By understanding the root of the problem and taking necessary actions, homeowners can improve their furnace’s performance and save money in the long run. So let’s dive in and learn how to tackle this pesky issue once and for all!

For more information on why your furnace keeps turning on and off, check out this article.

Causes of furnace short cycling

  • Oversized furnace: One of the most common causes of furnace short cycling is having a furnace that is too big for your home. An oversized furnace will quickly heat up your home and then turn off, only to restart shortly after when the temperature drops again. This constant on-off cycle not only wastes energy but also puts strain on the furnace’s components, leading to potential breakdowns.
  • Dirty air filter: A dirty air filter can also cause short cycling as it restricts proper airflow and causes the furnace to overheat. This leads to the safety control system shutting down the furnace, causing it to turn off prematurely.
  • Faulty thermostat: If the thermostat is not functioning properly, it can send incorrect signals to the furnace, causing it to turn on and off frequently. A faulty thermostat may need to be recalibrated or replaced.
  • Blocked or closed vents: Blocked or closed vents prevent proper airflow, causing the furnace to overheat and shut down prematurely.
  • Lack of maintenance: Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your furnace in good working condition. Without proper maintenance, the furnace’s components can wear out faster, leading to short cycling.
  • Other mechanical issues: There may be other mechanical issues with the furnace that are causing it to short cycle, such as a malfunctioning blower motor or flame sensor.

Solutions for furnace short cycling

  • Properly size your furnace: If you suspect an oversized furnace is causing the issue, consult an HVAC professional to determine the right size for your home. Upgrading to a properly sized furnace can significantly reduce short cycling.
  • Replace air filters regularly: Make sure to replace air filters every 1-3 months to ensure proper airflow and prevent overheating.
  • Check thermostat settings: If you suspect a faulty thermostat, check the settings and make sure it is in good working condition. If needed, have a professional recalibrate or replace it.
  • Ensure proper ventilation: Check for blocked or closed vents and ensure proper airflow throughout your home.
  • Schedule regular maintenance: Regular maintenance by a professional can catch and address any potential issues before they become major problems, preventing short cycling.
  • Address mechanical issues: If you suspect any mechanical issues with your furnace, such as a faulty blower motor or flame sensor, have them repaired or replaced by a professional.

The first step is figuring out the cause

Furnace short cycling is a common issue that can be caused by various factors. By understanding the root causes and taking necessary actions, homeowners can improve their furnace’s performance and reduce energy bills.

Properly sizing the furnace, keeping up with maintenance, and addressing any mechanical issues are crucial for preventing short cycling. Remember to always consult a professional HVAC technician for any furnace problems and avoid attempting repairs yourself.