Frequent Furnace Cycling: What Should You Do?

If your furnace turns or cycles off within a few seconds of coming on, have an HVAC contractor check the appliance for short cycling. Furnaces that shut down soon after are considered overactive. Overactive furnaces can heat up and burn out quickly over time. In some cases, a short cycling furnace can completely stop working. Learn why your furnace switches off and on so quickly and what you can do about it below.

What Information Should You Know About Short Cycling?

Manufacturers design furnaces and other heating appliances to cycle off and on at different rates or times. The rate and time allow furnaces sufficient time to warm and distribute heat throughout a structure. However, a furnace that cycles off too soon may not have enough time to warm up properly. The appliance will gradually deteriorate until it stops working.

A few things can cause heating appliances to short cycle, including dust and aging parts. A dusty air filter can prevent airflow through the furnace or cause it to hold onto excess heat. The parts inside the furnace may be worn out from age. An older furnace can also struggle to meet the demands of heating a home.

There could be other reasons why your particular furnace short cycles. The best way to learn why your furnace switches off and on too quickly is to have it inspected by a furnace repair technician.

Can You Repair a Short Cycling Appliance?

In order to discover why your furnace cycles too quickly, a technician will need to test the appliance. The test may include:

  • checking the blower system in your furnace for excess dust and other debris
  • examining the burner system for rust and corrosion
  • inspecting the thermostat for voltage and sensor problems
  • viewing the heat exchanger for cracks and openings

A contractor may also check the furnace's heat ignition system for issues, including the flame sensors and transmitters. If something shows up in the inspection, a contractor will discuss your options for repairing it. 

If age is a factor or reason for your furnace's problems, you may choose to purchase a newer heating system. In this case, you may want to choose a furnace that has a longer cycling rate or other features. You don't want to choose a furnace that can't meet your home's heating needs properly.

You can repair your short cycling furnace by having an HVAC contractor visit your home today. 

And, for further tips on furnace repair, reach out to a local HVAC technician.