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How to Tell if Your Furnace is Short Cycling

There’s never a good time to deal with a furnace problem – especially if the issue arises in the cold of winter. If your furnace is quitting prematurely before heating your home, short cycling might be to blame. Keep reading to what short cycling is and why it could be happening with your furnace.

What is short cycling?

Short cycling means that your furnace is running through more cycles than it should be within a short amount of time. There are several reasons for this issue to occur, including restricted airflow, a faulty thermostat, overheating, and damage to the flame rod. A furnace should run between 3-8 cycles per hour to provide reliable heat for the home. In instances of frigid temperatures or if the furnace unit is undersized for the space, the system might run more frequently. If your furnace regularly runs on the high end of this spectrum, it’s important to check for symptoms of short cycling.  Why does short cycling occur? There are four common reasons for a furnace to short cycle:

  1. Airflow is restricted. If an air filter within the furnace is clogged or installed incorrectly, it can prevent air from cycling through the system properly. This issue is common and thankfully, is relatively easy to fix. In the case of restricted airflow, cleaning or replacing the filter should get your furnace operating efficiently again.
  2. The thermostat is set wrong or provides inaccurate readings. If the thermostat is located in the wrong place, it can directly impact your furnace’s efficiency. Be sure the thermostat is not in a location that experiences frequent fluctuations in temperature such as near an open door, drafty window, or directly next to a heat source.
  3. The system is overheating. Overheating is one of the most common reasons for short cycling. If your furnace is overheating, it automatically shuts down due to safety devices within the unit. These devices help to prevent damage and dangerous fire hazards.
  4. There is damage to the flame sensor. The flame rod located inside the furnace detects the presence of a flame. If the sensor is unable to detect the burner flame, the furnace will shut down prematurely. In some cases, cleaning the flame rod can solve the problem and allow your furnace to function correctly.

Furnace troubleshooting and repair in Buffalo, MN

In most cases, furnace issues require professional assistance to get to the root of the problem. To fix your short cycling issues and get your home back to a comfy temperature, call the knowledgeable team at DeZiel Heating & AC. Call (763) 200-5453 to schedule a furnace service today.

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