As winter approaches, most people are servicing their HVAC systems to ensure everything is ready for the cold season. A short cycling heater or furnace is one of the common issues we receive here at Whipple Service Champions. It is recommended to call a professional HVAC technician if you suspect your heater is short cycling. Here’s a quick overview of heater short cycling, causes, and how to resolve the issue.

What Causes Short Cycling in Heaters?

If your heater turns on then off before warming your home, it is short cycling and needs a trusted furnace repair company to restore normal functioning. There are many reasons for this, but the most common include:

  1. Overheating – restricted airflow, dirty filters, clogged interior vents, and a blocked exhaust roof vent can result in overheating and short cycling. Most heaters are designed to shut down automatically if it is overheating to prevent premature breakdown.
  2. Bad flame sensor – A flame sensor is a rod that detects a flame, which is an indication the gas valve is firing instead of pumping raw gas into your home. If the flame rod is damaged, dirty, or doesn’t detect fire, it shuts off the heater.
  3. Dirty furnace filter – You will experience hot air coming from the heat grates when the furnace filter is dirty. Most overheating cases stem from dirty filters, and the short cycling time ranges from two to five minutes.
  4. Blocked heat grates – In most homes, there are heat graters in each room. Warm air is dispatched to the room, and the grates have dampers so you can control which room you want to heat. If some grates are closed or blocked, it becomes difficult to expel heat, which results in overheating and ultimate short cycling.
  5. Clogged exhaust vent – Bird nests, snow, debris, and other buildups on the exhaust vent will make it harder to expel air outside, resulting in excess heat. It is vital to free the exhaust vent as a blockage can increase carbon monoxide levels inside the house.
  6. Wrong thermostat location – If your thermostat warms before the rest of the house, it will turn off the heater assuming the rooms have reached the set temperature. This can happen if you have it mounted in the wrong location.
  7. Using furnaces meant for bigger homes – If your furnace is too big for your home, it will produce excess heat within a short time and turn off before your rooms are adequately warmed. In most cases, you will need to replace the entire unit.

Short cycling heaters can leave you cold and exposed, so it is essential to contact professionals as soon as you notice the problem.

the top 3 disadvantages caused by a short cycling furnace

Whipple Service Champion is a trusted HVAC and plumbing company with experts that can facilitate any furnace repair service Salt Lake County residents need. We are experienced in all matters HVAC and take pride in helping clients maintain efficient, functional systems all year round. Contact us today to find out more about resolving heater short cycling and other HVAC, plumbing, and air quality issues.