If you’ve ever noticed your furnace turning itself on and off every few minutes, you have a short cycling problem. Short cycling is a serious issue that not only affect the furnace’s ability to heat, but shortens its lifespan and increases the chances of a breakdown, as well. Let’s take a look at what causes this serious issue, and what to do about it.
How it Happens
Short cycling is most commonly caused by a disruption in air flow within the furnace, usually due to a clogged air filter. This traps heat inside the furnace, which causes the internal temperature of the system to rise above established safety levels. The limit switch then activates, which shuts down the furnace to protect it from overheating. Though this temporarily fixes the problem, it can’t address the cause of the overheating. When the furnace starts back up again, it will just overheat again and be shut down again ad infinitum. This cycle will continue until the furnace eventually gives out under the stress.
Even if the furnace doesn’t break down immediately, the increased wear and tear is still a huge issue that shortens the life of the furnace. Future repair issues are increasingly likely the longer the furnace short cycles, and while it’s short cycling it can’t properly heat the home. Nothing is quite as much of a threat to a furnace’s health as short cycling.
How to Address it
Time is of the essence when it comes to short cycling. If you notice that your furnace is short cycling, turn it off and call for repairs immediately. The faster we can get to your furnace, the more damage we can prevent and the better off your system will be.