You should be keeping close watch on your furnace during the winter season, as it’s the most stressful time of year for the system. More demand on the furnace means more wear and tear, which means a greater likelihood for problems to develop. One of the biggest warning signs that you need to call for repairs is if your furnace turns itself on and off every few minutes during operation. That’s called short cycling, and if you’re not careful it could destroy your system.

What Causes Short Cycling?

There are a couple of different things that could cause your furnace to short cycle, but the most common cause is heat becoming trapped in the system. This can happen because of an air handler failure, which cuts off the flow of air through the furnace, or because of a clogged air filter, which essentially causes the same issue.

As the temperature in the furnace rises, the limit switch shuts the system down to prevent it from overheating. The furnace will cool off for a short time, then restart and attempt to finish its heating cycle when it has dropped to a safe level. The problem is that without solving the root cause of the overheating, the furnace will just overheat and shut down again. This cycle continues indefinitely.

Problems

The constant stop/start rhythm of short cycling does a couple of things to the furnace. First, it dramatically lessens the output of the system. Second, it significantly increases the wear and tear on the system. The furnace will have breakdowns far more often, and its lifespan will be shortened significantly as a result. This is why you should call for repairs as soon as you notice your furnace short cycling.

Cliffs Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. provides furnace repair services throughout Port Charlotte, FL.

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