Why Does My Furnace “Short Cycle?” | Tips from Your Trusted Fort Worth, TX Heating and AC Repair Service Provider

Why Does My Furnace “Short Cycle?” | Tips from Your Trusted Fort Worth, TX Heating and AC Repair Service Provider

If you commonly hear your furnace or AC start and then stop in uneven cycles, then it is possible that your HVAC system is short cycling. This is not desirable for a host of reasons, and is cause for heating and AC repair in Fort Worth, TX. 

The good news is there are some minor reasons why your furnace might short cycle that can easily be repaired by a quick heating and AC repair visit. There are some other causes that are a bit more serious in nature, but can be remedied if they are correctly and quickly diagnosed. The longer you allow your furnace to short cycle the more damage will be done.

Here’s a look at some of the most common causes of short cycling, along with some advice on what to do about it. This is something you should always consult a HVAC repair company in Fort Worth, TX about, because not only will it cost you money in increased energy bills, but it has the potential to cause damage to your furnace that will cost you even more.

What Is Short Cycling?

Short cycling is a term used by heating and AC repair professionals to describe when your HVAC system turns on and off on a frequent and inconsistent basis. Ideally your furnace should run in cycles to keep your home at a steady temperature. The length of time when the system is on is called the cycle.

When your furnace or AC system starts turning off before the correct temperature is reached it is completing what is called a short cycle. Due to the fact the home is still improperly heated or cooled, the system is forced to kick on again shortly after turning off. 

The most energy is consumed when the HVAC system starts or stops, so a short cycle causes a strain on the system that is costly over time. If your furnace is kicking on repeatedly throughout the day in uneven intervals then it is likely short circuiting. Here are a few of the most common explanations for short cycling in Fort Worth, TX. 

The Furnace Flame Sensor is Dirty 

Your furnace has a flame sensor that detects whether or not there is a flame anytime the gas valve is open. If the flame is not on, then gas will simply leak into your home which can be very dangerous. For this reason, if the sensor does not detect a flame it will automatically shut off the gas valve which will turn off your furnace in the middle of a cycle.

Unfortunately, sometimes the flame sensor starts to corrode which affects the way it works. It might start to think the flame is not on and kick off the gas valve. This can cause your furnace to automatically stop every time it kicks in creating the short cycle. A quick heating and AC repair service call can check to see if this is the problem or not. Sometimes all that needs done is a quick clean or replacement of the flame sensor.

Furnace Is Too Large

Believe it or not, it is possible to have a furnace that is too large for your home. Home heating systems should be installed based on the size of your home and its expected use. A heating system that is too large will not accurately and efficiently heat your home. Big is not always better when it comes to furnace equipment.

If a furnace is too large for your space, it will blast out warm air quickly which causes the home to quickly heat. This results in a quick blast of air and the system kicks off because the thermostat detects a high temperature. Your home will cool at a moderate rate and then the furnace kicks in again. This continues non-stop which will strain your furnace and start to wear down your equipment.

Believe it not, a furnace that is too large for your home will end up prematurely aging because of the start-stop repetition of short cycling. You will end up requiring a major heating and AC repair, or possibly replacing your entire system way before its lifetime should be up. If you believe this is your problem, give your heating and AC repair guy in Fort Worth, TX a call and see what options you have. A properly trained HVAC repair agent should be able to offer you some options to help troubleshoot this problem.

Thermostat Is Not Placed Correctly 

Sometimes your furnace is just fine and you don’t necessarily require any heating and AC repair, you simply need to move your thermostat. If your thermostat is on a wall that is in direct sunlight then it may incorrectly be sensing the house is warm. This also happens if the thermostat is close to a heating vent, because it will feel the warm air and kick it off long before it has had a chance to properly warm the home.

Within minutes the chill will set in again and it will kick the furnace back on. This can turn into an endless cycle that is bad for your furnace and frustrating for you. Moving the thermostat is the easiest way to fix this problem. If you are unsure of a good place for it or simply intimidated by the wiring, give your One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating, your local Fort Worth, TX heating and AC repair company a call and they should be able to move it for a very minimal charge.

Blocked Exhaust Vent 

Sometimes outside exhaust vents get blocked by yard wastes or nests built by animals. When this happens, hot gases start to build up inside which causes safety sensors on the furnace to shut down. These flue pipes are commonly found on the sidewall of your home or the roof. If you suspect this is the case then you should call a heating and AC repair person to come to your home and check it out. Not only will they clear the obstruction, but while cleaning out the exhaust vent will check to make sure that no damage was done to it. A backup of gases can be dangerous so it is important that the entire system is venting correctly.