Why Is My Furnace Short Cycling?

If your furnace keeps turning off, then you will want to find the cause as soon as possible. Issues like this tend to occur at the worst possible time. If you without heating and you have kids in the house, then you will want to know the extent of the damage as soon as possible. Some of the reasons a furnace may short cycle can be fixed with ease. Others will require expert hands.  Some of those possible causes include:

Your Thermostat

Depending on where it is in your home, the thermostat is one of the major reasons why furnaces short cycle.  If it is too close to the furnace, it can feel hotter than your home actually is and instruct the furnace to shut off. Calling an expert means they can help to move it to a more appropriate place that will prevent this from happening.

The Furnace Filter

Probably the most common cause for short cycling is a clogged filter. Furnace filters should be changed every few months unless you have a higher quality filter which lasts a little longer.  Look for the MERV score. This determines furnace filter ratings and ranges from 1 to 16. The higher the number, the better it is at removing particles. It is these particles that can clog up if not changed frequently. Luckily it is easy to check for yourself.

Blocked Exhaust

Anything that hinders your system is going to result in it short cycling. When it comes to your exhaust vent, something as simple as a bird’s nest can cause the whole system to overheat. Check that air can flow by turning off the furnace and using a light to check for blockages. 

Your Furnace Is Too Big

If you were sold a furnace that you didn’t need, it could be coming back to haunt you. A furnace that is too big will find it easy to short cycle meaning it could be happening frequently. Not only does this waste a lot of energy but the repeated turning on and off damaged the furnace. This can result in more expensive repairs being necessary. An expert can help you to see if the furnace you have is right for your property.

The Furnace Itself Is Overheating

If the furnace is too hot, then the safety net of it short cycling is working. Still, this isn’t something you should allow to continue. If the airflow is blocked, which is one of the common causes of a furnace overheating, then it can lead to cracks in the heat exchanger. This is dangerous as it can lead to carbon monoxide leakages. If you suspect that this is the problem, call an expert immediately.

These are the most frequent reasons a furnace will short cycle. The first thing to check should be the filters as they are the easiest to fix. The bigger concerns should not be ignored as they can be a risk to your health. 

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