Picture of Man in Parka Adjusting Thermostat

Why Your Furnace is Short Cycling

Your furnace is faltering out of nowhere and you don’t understand why. Everything appears normal, but your home heating unit is just not sufficiently warming your space. Not to mention, it is cold here in Pennsylvania. So, there couldn’t be a less than ideal time for your furnace to malfunction than right about now.

So, today we are shedding light on why your furnace isn’t working as it should--why it is short cycling.

Short Cycling Defined

Short cycling occurs when your furnace is shutting off unexpectedly, with start-and-stop heating cycles. These interrupted cycles will prevent your home from reaching your desired temperature. Not to mention, short cycling can damage your furnace, as it provides extreme wear and tear on your overall system.

The Causes of Short Cycling

Your Furnace Is Not Sized Properly

If your furnace is relatively new, and you are experiencing short cycling, you don’t likely have a problem with the appliance itself, but rather with the size of the furnace. When a furnace is installed, and it is too big for the space in which you installed it, it will not heat your home efficiently or effectively.

An oversized unit will use an inordinate amount of energy than required to heat your space, causing uneven distribution of heat throughout your home. This will lead to your furnace turning on and off to compensate. Contact Quality Degree, Inc. for furnace replacement. We will find the perfect fit for your home, so your heating needs are met.

You Have a Malfunctioning Thermostat

Your thermostat is like the coach of a football team--it calls all of the plays. When your thermostat fails, your furnace receives a signal that the play, or set temperature, is completed or met, and it can rest. However, this signal is premature, leading your furnace to short cycle.

A malfunctioning thermostat will inhibit your home from ever reaching your desired temperature. If you think your thermostat is broken, it is time for a professional to come take a look at your heating system--you may need a replacement.

Your Furnace is Overheating

When your furnace overheats, it will go into self-preservation mode and turn off. This occurs when the heated air becomes trapped within your system, due to a dirty air filter or a clogged air vent. It is imperative that you contact an HVAC professional ASAP, as the pressure within your system will begin to build-up, due to accumulating trapped air, causing your heat exchanger to crack. If this occurs, carbon monoxide will begin to leak into your home, which can compromise you and your family’s health.

Why is My Furnace Short Cycling When it's Cold?

When it gets extremely cold outside, you may notice that your furnace kicks on and off a lot more frequently than what seems normal, and you may assume that your furnace is short cycling. You likely have nothing to worry about—your furnace is cycling more frequently simply because there is more demand for heat in your home. Just be on the lookout for furnace cycles that only last a few seconds or minutes and which don't seem to actually be warming your home, as that is an indication that something actually is wrong.

For furnace repairs, replacements, and maintenance anywhere in Central or Southeastern Pennsylvania, contact the experts here at Quality Degree, Inc. Just give us a call at (610) 600-1108.