Is Your Furnace Short Cycling?

furnace short cycling

We’re well into the autumn season and on our way to winter. Leaves are changing color and falling off the trees, temperatures are getting cooler, and people are beginning to turn their residential and commercial furnaces on more frequently. That means they’re also likely noticing if their commercial or residential HVAC units are working properly, and may be noticing some issues if they haven’t been keeping up with a regular maintenance plan.

Everyone wants their furnaces to work at their best this time of year, but problems can arise after being used so sparingly for the last six months or so. These can include inefficient functioning, temperatures not matching the digital readout, banging, clunking, odd scents being emitted upon startup, or short cycling. All should be addressed by an HVAC expert — and fixed as soon as possible — to minimize damage and restore optimal functioning.

This article will focus on short cycling: what it is, what causes it, and how to identify and remedy it.

furnace short cycling

What is Short Cycling and How Can it Be Identified?

Short cycling is a relatively common furnace problem that plagues many malfunctioning systems. It occurs when a residential or commercial furnace starts and stops too quickly, meaning it does not bring the room up to the appropriate temperature before shutting off. It also does not wait the allotted time or temperature fluctuation to kick back on, creating an inefficient and energy-sucking cycle that drains your wallet without creating the warmth your home or business needs.

If your furnace seems to be turning on and shutting off more frequently than it should be, you might have a short cycling problem. Call an expert technician the moment you notice short cycling to avoid potential damage or higher-than-average heating costs.

heating furnace short cycling

How Short Cycling Happens

Now that you can identify when a furnace is short cycling, it’s important to understand how the malfunction happens at all. A few primary causes have been identified, including problems interfacing with your commercial or residential thermostat, the size of the machine relative to the building it needs to heat, and stopping as a protective measure to prevent further damage.

Thermostat troubles

When the problem is with your home or business’ thermostat, the digital panel is likely not working as it should. The entire system gets its information from that panel, after all, and if the panel isn’t working, the furnace will begin receiving misinformation that might cause it to short cycle. A qualified technician can inspect both your thermostat and your furnace to ensure this is the issue, then provide a solution.

Size woes

If the problem involves the size of your furnace, that might be a little more difficult to solve. Some systems are simply too big or powerful for the home or business they are charged with warming up, and they begin short cycling because they are overpowering the space with rapid heating. This drains your pocketbook, wears down your machinery, and creates general inefficiencies, meaning you’ll want a qualified technician to tell you if it’s time to replace the HVAC system.

Damage prevention

Damage to the furnace machinery can also cause short cycling. If the commercial or residential system has elements that are broken, cracked, wearing down, or overheating, it might begin short cycling to avoid creating further problems or experiencing further erosion. Overheating causes massive damage to a furnace’s functioning, and should be addressed as quickly as possible to prevent a complete breakdown. Your technician will be able to diagnose and find solutions for these problems.

Remedying Short Cycling in Furnaces

The sooner you identify and remedy your short cycling issues, the better the situation will be for your wallet and comfort. The only way to fix this problem is to call your trusted HVAC services provider to come out and examine your system, identify any issues, and provide professional solutions. Trying to remedy the problem yourself might allow you to find workarounds or patches, but it might also void your residential or commercial machinery’s warranties — or cause more harm than good.

Save yourself the time, money, and potential downfalls of trying to fix short cycling errors yourself and call your trusted professional HVAC partner to come and examine the machine.

Regular Maintenance Helps Avoid and Fix Most Problems

No one likes to sit around or work in uncomfortable temperatures. Worse yet, extreme heat and cold can be catastrophic for human health and do serious damage to items like pipes, causing much worse harm than a little discomfort.

Most of the problems homes or businesses experience with HVAC systems could be mitigated or completely avoided by signing up for regular HVAC maintenance plans. Many reputable providers offer packages that include scheduled visits, emergency repairs, and more, ensuring your system never goes down when you need it most.

The best times to have HVAC maintenance performed are during the spring, before the hot and humid summer months, and in the fall, ahead of the harsh cold of winter snow and ice. Having a technician dispatched to come check out your unit, test functioning, examine fluid levels, and ensure everything is functioning optimally will ensure you don’t need to call for a repair during times when you can’t afford for your system to fail.

It will also help ensure you don’t get put on a waitlist with the numerous other homes and businesses looking for the same immediate fix in a snowstorm or heat wave.

HVAC Concerns? Call an Expert for Help.

Beaufort Air Conditioning has been serving the greater Beaufort, South Carolina, area since 1980, offering reliable and affordable services provided by trusted, certified technicians. When you suspect your furnace has a short cycling problem, or if you have other questions or concerns about your commercial or residential HVAC system, give our experts a call. We’ll be happy to come out, take a look, and work with you to find a solution.

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