Short-cycling Of The Furnace? Causes And Troubleshooting

Short-cycling occurs when your furnace switches on and off repeatedly for short periods, preventing the house from reaching its proper temperature. In other words, the heating and resting cycles are both too short for the furnace to do anything. In any case, conducting regular furnace service Grand Rapids is crucial.

A typical home furnace cycles on and off three to eight times each hour, with heating periods of seven to twenty minutes.

5 Potential Short-Cycle Causes And Solutions

  • Filthy Air Filters

The most prevalent reason for short cycling is a filthy air filter. If your air filter is clogged with dirt, proper air passage to the heat exchanger will be impeded. This can cause the furnace to overheat, causing the high limit switch to come to the rescue and turn the heater off. It will restart when it cools, and the cycle will repeat.

You may avoid this form of short cycling by changing your furnace’s air filter regularly. It should be cleaned or replaced every month to ensure that your furnace operates at peak efficiency. Turn off your furnace, remove the panel, and replace the filter or hire HVAC installers near you. Most of the time, this is the simple solution to your short-cycling issue.

  • Problems With The Thermostat

If you’ve ruled out a dirty air filter as the source of the problem, the next most likely reason for short cycling is your thermostat. Because it’s a mechanical device, it isn’t 100% reliable and may require maintenance from time to time. If your thermostat isn’t working properly, it could be telling the furnace to turn off too soon.

Turn off your thermostat, then open it up and change the batteries. Turn the system back on and wait an hour to check if the problem has been resolved.

You might also want to reassess where you put your thermostat. If it is placed near a heat register, a space heater, or direct sunlight, it may be adversely affected and shut down prematurely.

  • Air Leaks

Before investigating more complex explanations for your short-cycling problem, consider another probable cause with a simple solution: insufficient insulation, which allows newly heated air to escape and forces the furnace to restart.

Your windows should be sealed properly, so make sure that none of them have been left open. If air is escaping, caulking around the frames may be necessary to keep the warm air inside.

  • Problems With Parts

Short-cycling can also be caused by the furnace blower, the flame, or the flame sensor.

If your blower motor is turned off, your heat exchangers will not heat the air and may overheat, forcing the furnace to shut down. If this is the case, air will either not blow through your vents or will blow through them weakly. To test, place your hand in front of a vent.

Finally, the flame sensor will shut off your furnace if the ignition mechanism fails to produce a flame within four seconds.

Your furnace will be able to do its work effectively once you discover the problem and fix it, with or without the assistance of a professional.

We can help you save money on services related to heating and AC repair Grand Rapids MI. Contact us at (616) 516-8579, or drop us a mail at

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