If you’ve ever noticed your furnace turning itself on and off every couple of minutes, there is an excellent chance that you have a short-cycling problem. This is not a harmless quirk, but a serious threat to the health of your system. If not dealt with quickly, it can cause a whole slew of problems up to and including the full breakdown of your system. So, read on to find out more about short-cycling and what to do about it.
What Causes It?
Short-cycling occurs when heat becomes trapped in the main body of the furnace, called the plenum. This happens most often because of a clogged air filter in the duct return, which cuts off the flow of cool air that is supposed to circulate through the furnace. When heat becomes trapped in the furnace, the temperature rises to dangerous levels pretty quickly. This activates the limit switch, which is a safety device that shuts off the furnace to protect it. This doesn’t solve the root problem, though. When the furnace reactivates, it overheats again and shuts down again. The cycle continues like this until the system breaks down.
The Effects of Short-Cycling
Short-cycling locks your furnace into an endless startup cycle, which is the most stressful part of its operation. This subjects the system to far more stress than it is designed to handle. Along with making the heater less efficient, short-cycling all but guarantees that your furnace will have parts start to break down sooner rather than later. The best way to prevent this is to call for repairs as soon as you notice that your furnace is short-cycling, and to get your air filter changed every few months.
If your furnace is short-cycling, call Cliffs Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. We offer comprehensive furnace services throughout Port Charlotte, FL.