During the winter season in Texas, we can have pretty cold days and very cold nights, some of them dropping below 35 degrees. To help beat the cold winter season, many people will depend on their home’s furnace to keep their home nice and warm. However, like any machine, your furnace can develop problems such as short cycling. A furnace can short cycle for a few different reasons. Absolute P&M Services will share why furnaces may short cycle, and how to troubleshoot and repair this common problem.
Dealing with an Oversized Furnace
If you have recently invested in a new furnace only to find it is short cycling fresh out of the box, you may feel you bought a lemon. However, if a new furnace is short cycling fresh out of the box, before you think it is flawed, consider that it may actually be too big. Yes, a furnace can be too big for the home or square footage of space it is heating. Often homeowners feel a bigger furnace is better. It should heat up the home quickly and save energy, right? However, this is not how a furnace works. When a furnace is oversized for the heating area, it will short cycle. Because a large unit is creating too much heated air for the space, the thermostat will read the temperature within the home as too hot and shut off the furnace. This cycle will continue. The furnace will run in short bursts, and this isn’t good at all. If a furnace continues to run in short bursts, the furnace can wear down faster and even crack. Should this happen, it will release carbon monoxide into the home. Unfortunately, the only fix is replacing the furnace with a proper sized machine.
Furnace Blower Motor Overheating
Another reason why a proper sized, or older furnace will short cycle is due to overheating. When a furnace and its components overheat, the system will shut down to prevent major damages. However, there can be a number of reasons why the furnace is overheating. Starting with the basics, check the air filters and see if they are clogged or dirty. A dirty air filter can put a lot of stress on the furnace which leads to overheating. Next, check all of the air vents and registers. Make sure they are open and not blocked as it creates the same stress as a dirty air filter.
Thermostat Error Codes
The thermostat controlling the cooling and heating system can be faulty. If it reads the interior temperature as too high or low, it will activate the heating or cooling system. At times the thermostat can malfunction which can result in odd cycles, some too long while other cycles are too short. Other internal elements can also interfere with the furnace’s sensors. An open window can heat the space around the furnace, or a portable heater can be too close to the thermostat. If the thermostat sensor reads the temperature as too warm inside the home, it will turn off the heating system. Prevent thermostat interference. If it is malfunctioning, contact an HVAC technician to inspect and possibly replace the thermostat.