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Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -

Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -


Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30-5:30PM
Saturday: 8:00-1:00PM


Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

Why Is My Furnace Short Cycling?


We’re finally experiencing some cold weather with temperatures low enough to cause you to start using your furnace. After so many months of not using your heating system, there are certain issues that can pop up that interfere with your furnace’s ability to heat your home adequately.

A common repair we see this time of year is short cycling. If you have a furnace short cycling in Orange County, you may be confused about what exactly is going on. A short cycling furnace needs prompt attention. Let’s explain why.

What is short cycling?

Let’s describe a typical short cycling scenario. You’re at home and your furnace seems like it’s running constantly. You hear it turn off, but then it turns on again a short time later. This keeps happening repeatedly throughout the day. Worst of all, your home isn’t getting warm enough although some rooms may feel “kinda warm” while others are chilly.

This is a classic example of short cycling. Not only is it a distraction, but it also means your furnace is using a lot of power with the end result being your home doesn’t get much warmer. Short cycling causes enormous wear and tear on your furnace while driving up your energy bills.

Why does it happen?

Unfortunately, the trickiest part about short cycling is that it can be caused by a number of issues. Here are some of the most common ones.

  • The air filter is dirty and clogged: This is an easy fix. Check the air filter to see if it’s dirty and clogged. Without proper airflow, a furnace will often short cycle.
  • The thermostat is miscalibrated: Harder to diagnose, this is a possibility. If the thermostat is miscalibrated, it can’t read the right temperature in your home. This will signal the furnace to shut down before it should.
  • The furnace is incorrectly sized for your home. Is your furnace new? Short cycling is the main problem that occurs when a furnace isn’t properly sized for a home. This is why we always recommend a professional HVAC company for furnace installation.

Why is it a major problem?

There are many important reasons you don’t want to allow a furnace to keep short cycling. These include:

  • Wear and tear: A furnace uses the most power during the start-up cycle. And short cycling causes frequent start-ups. Allowing a furnace to short cycle almost certainly spells an early death for the system. It’s much better to pay to have it repaired now than to pay for a replacement later.
  • Higher utility bills: All that extra expenditure of energy will be apparent in one place: your monthly utility bill. Not only is this expensive, but it’s also incredibly wasteful. Don’t keep paying more for decreased home comfort!
  • You’re not warm enough: This should be the main reason why you call for furnace repair. You deserve to be warm and comfortable in your home, even in an area where the winter weather is short.

Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air has served Orange County since 1981. Schedule furnace repair with our technicians today.

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