What Is “Short-Cycling”?

Richardson Heating Services

In an ideal world, you don’t need to think that heavily about your furnace. You turn it on when it’s cold out and enjoy a steady flow of warm air throughout the home. But when that balance is disrupted, suddenly all you can think about is your furnace and its many sudden failings.

There are many cases where you need to seek a furnace repair. You know there’s something wrong when the system stops working altogether, but what if it’s barely trodding along no matter how much you prod it? Or what if it’s not working at all? Call Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning for a furnace repair today. We’ll tell you why, and we’ll fix it!

What Is Short-Cycling?

Your heating system runs on a cycle, and the average heat cycle lasts around 15 minutes. This is enough time for you to set the unit to your desired temperature and allow the burners to heat enough air to warm your home to your heart’s content. Once your unit reaches the set temperature on your thermostat, the unit will shut off until the level drops, and it needs to warm again. 

But if your furnace can only run for maybe ten minutes or less, that’s what HVAC professionals call “short-cycling.” In that fractured time period, the average furnace cannot fully raise the internal temperature of your home. As a result, things get chilly, and you wind up dissatisfied.

What Causes Short-Cycling?

Before you seek a furnace repair, you may be curious as to what’s causing your heating system to short-cycle. The problem can come from many sources, and it’s best diagnosed by an HVAC professional like the ones at Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning. Still, let’s talk about some of the major issues and how a technician can work to resolve them. 

Dirty Filters

This is one of the only causes of short-cycling that you could solve yourself. You should be changing your filter every few months (less often for thicker filters, and more often if you live with pets or allergies). If you don’t prioritize this maintenance task, the filter quickly clogs, and a clogged filter will prevent the flow of return air into the furnace. 

Without return air, your furnace is far more likely to get too hot and shut itself down, resulting in a shorter cycle. You may be able to solve this by changing the filter. If that doesn’t keep your system from overheating, you may want to change your action plan.

Overheating

Much like any other piece of technology, your furnace will shut down if it gets too hot. It does this to prevent the damage that can come from overheating. You may notice a burning smell coming from the vents around your home or strange noises coming from around the furnace when it happens.

Overheating can be due to a dirty filter, but that’s not the only thing causing your heating system to run hot and inconsistent. The dust from your filter may have traveled to the rest of your system’s internal components. If these vital parts get too dirty, it loses its ability to self-ventilate, which will cause it to short-cycle. 

We don’t suggest cleaning your internal components yourself. It’s much more effective to call us for a furnace repair to get things back in working order.

Blocked Heat Grates

These are two more problems resulting in overheating, specifically relating to the heat grates in a larger home.

As with your air conditioner, your furnace sends air through a series of grates scattered around your home. You can control which rooms get heated through the dampers over their grates, but if too many grates are closed, your furnace can’t properly disperse the heat. This will cause the heat to build up in your system and lead to it overheating. 

The best way to keep this from happening is to make sure at least 75% of your grates are kept open. If that’s not enough to keep the heater from shutting off, you may need a more in-depth furnace repair.

What Can You Do?

A furnace repair can help keep a furnace running the way it should. And it’ll work even better when you do it through the right HVAC service provider. At Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we serve homes in Plano, TX and the surrounding area, solving any problems they may have with plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and more.

We focus on a five-star guarantee with every job we do. Because when you work with Sirius, that’s exactly how we’re going to treat your home’s needs一seriously. And we don’t stop until you’re satisfied with the comfort of your home. So if you’re in an on-again, off-again relationship with your furnace, make things right with Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We’ll set things right!

Author Mark King

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