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Why Does My Furnace Keep Going Off and On?

When your furnace keeps turning on and shutting off more than its standard three to six times in an hour, this is called short-cycling, and it could be racking up your energy bill. Short-cycling may not seem serious at first, but it’s typically a sign that your furnace is too big, your thermostat is malfunctioning, or a blocked or dirty air filter is making your heat exchanger overheat.

What can you do to perform furnace repair and solve the short-cycling problem? Learn more here about our short-cycling solutions at BVSM Heating & Air Conditioning in Beaverton County.

Why Does a Furnace Short-Cycle?

The difference between a furnace that’s operating correctly and a furnace that’s short-cycling comes down to a few small but important observations.

In a typical furnace cycle, a thermostat operates the furnace system to maintain the surrounding air at the desired room temperature. Once the desired temperature is reached, it will shut off momentarily to preserve energy, and turn on again as needed, typically only two or more times per hour.

However, when a furnace turns on and off constantly, this is known as short-cycling. Short-cycling is an inefficient way to heat your home and can be taxing on your heating system, increasing your chances of needing furnace repairs or a premature furnace replacement.

If your furnace turns off and on at an unusually high rate, contact BVSM for affordable heating and cooling services in Beaverton County, PA.

Is Your Furnace Short-Cycling Due to Restricted Airflow?

If you haven’t replaced the air filter in your furnace in over two months, it may be clogged with dirt. Or, if you notice short-cycling even after replacing your furnace’s air filter, you could be using an air filter that’s too restrictive to allow proper airflow.

Reducing your risks of short-cycling starts with using air filters that comply with your specific model and brand of furnace, and remembering to change your air filters regularly. Ask yourself:

  • Have I changed my furnace air filter within the past two months?
  • Does my air filter match my brand and model of furnace?
  • Are the air vent registers blocked by furniture, small objects, or debris?
  • Do the air conditioner coils in my HVAC unit have debris blocking airflow?

Regularly replacing dirty furnace air filters is an inexpensive way to support the optimal use of your furnace and keep it running smoothly.

However, if your furnace continues to short-cycle even after replacing the filters, clearing away room in front of the air vent registers, and cleaning the AC coils around your heating and cooling system, it may be a thermostat issue.

Is Your Thermostat Malfunctioning?

A common mistake homeowners make when they notice their heater or air conditioner isn’t working as well as it should be, is to assume they need HVAC repair before checking that their thermostat is properly adjusted.

To determine if your thermostat is causing your furnace to short-cycle, answer these questions:

  • Is my thermostat turned on and displaying accurate settings?
  • Is my thermostat placed too close to another heat source, such as a heat register?
  • When was the last time I scheduled preventive maintenance for my HVAC system?

Thermostats are highly sensitive to changes in temperature in a room. When they’re too close to other heat sources (even sunlight!), they can shut off, believing the air is too warm. To ensure your thermostat and HVAC system are working properly, routine inspections are highly recommended.

Furnace problems won’t get better on their own – they only get worse. If your furnace is having issues, contact us for furnace repairs in Beaver Valley.

Other Reasons Your Furnace Is Short-Cycling

If your furnace is still short-cycling after checking for a dirty air filter or a malfunctioning thermostat, the cause may be more difficult to determine. It could indicate one of these furnace issues:

  • Your heating system is too big.
  • The furnace has a corroded flame sensor.
  • The chimney or air vents are clogged.

Not all furnace repair issues can be spotted right away. To guarantee a thorough HVAC inspection, contact qualified heating and cooling contractors for professional advice and repair options.

BVSM Furnace Repair, Maintenance & Installation

If your furnace is shutting off and turning on too frequently, call our HVAC contractors at BVSM to inspect your furnace and solve your short-cycling problem.

Contact us today to learn about all our heating and cooling services in Monaca and Beaverton County, PA.

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