Is it a Problem if My Furnace Repeatedly Stops and Starts?
Normal heating systems don’t run constantly but instead, cycle on and off several times an hour. However, when your furnace is shutting off much more often than usual, that spells trouble.
This type of furnace problem is called “short cycling.” Let’s look at 4 common causes.
1. You Have a Clogged Air Filter
If your air filter is clogged with dust and dirt, the airflow to the heat exchanger becomes restricted, and the component overheats. This, in turn, triggers the high limit switch or also known as the safety shutoff.
A simple fix to this problem is to turn off the furnace and change the filter if you have the disposable type. Permanent filters, which do a better job of protecting your furnace and are more eco-friendly, are designed to be cleaned and reused.
Whichever filter you use, be sure to inspect it monthly and change or clean it every 90 days. For even better airflow, open some of your vents and have your furnace blower wheel cleaned.
2.Your Thermostat Is The Problem
Check your thermostat to determine if it is turned on. Make sure it’s switched to “HEAT” and set at the correct temperature. If the temperature setting is too low, your furnace will shut off more frequently.
Consider thermostat location as well. The thermostat should be positioned away from sources of heat or cold and mounted about 1.5 meters above floor level. Ensure that it isn’t mounted too high because, as you may remember from science class, hot air rises. If the thermostat registers extreme temperatures, a shortened furnace cycle may result.
Another possible problem could be that the thermostat is malfunctioning and not sending a signal to your furnace. Check this out with a buddy. One person should stand next to the thermostat, the other next to the furnace. Slowly raise the thermostat setting and listen for noise from the furnace. Lack of any sound indicates that you may need professional thermostat repair or replacement.
3. You Have A Dirty Flame Sensor
The gas furnace’s flame sensor is a safety device that cuts off the supply of natural gas when no flame is detected. If your flame sensor becomes riddled with soot or corrosion, it can’t function properly and will keep turning off the gas valve.
If you suspect that you have this problem, get expert furnace repair as soon as possible.
4. The Furnace Is Too Big For Your Home
Your furnace may simply be too large for the size of your home. An oversized furnace will heat the space too quickly, shut off, and abruptly start again when the house cools down.
This stopping and starting are not only annoying, but it also wastes energy and wears your furnace out faster than usual. Furthermore, your home is never really a consistent, comfortable temperature.
The best solution is to replace your furnace with a correctly-sized, energy-efficient model, especially if it’s over 15 years old.