A Short-Cycling Furnace Impacts Comfort and Efficiency

When winter tightens its icy grip on Wheeling, IL, your furnace has to work overtime to keep you comfortable. That often means running more frequently, especially if your home isn’t well-insulated. If your furnace seems to repeatedly turn on and off, however, you could be dealing with a more serious problem.

What Is a Short-Cycling Furnace?

Your furnace automatically begins heating whenever temperatures in your home fall below your thermostat’s setpoint. Normally, your furnace should continue running and producing heat until your setpoint is reached. This heating cycle often repeats several times per hour during cold weather. By contrast, a short-cycling furnace may start and stop repeatedly, running for just moments without reaching the desired temperature.

The Causes of Short-Cycling

If your furnace isn’t cycling properly, it’s important to quickly find and treat the root cause. In some cases, short-cycling can be caused by a lack of proper maintenance. Obstructed air filters, dirty components, and other routine problems can sometimes prevent your system from completing full cycles. More commonly, short-cycling is caused by a furnace that’s simply too big for your home. Unfortunately, the simplest solution is often replacing your system with one that’s been properly sized by a professional heating contractor. If a replacement is necessary, consider exploring whether you can save money by upgrading to a high-efficiency model.

How Improper Cycling Affects Your Home

Not surprisingly, short-cycling can cause all kinds of chaos. The first thing many people notice is poor comfort. Since a short-cycling furnace often shuts down prematurely, it may not provide enough heat to keep your home warm. You may also see your energy costs rising unexpectedly. Frequent cycling is very wasteful, causing your furnace to continually burn through fuel without properly heating your home. It also causes excessive wear on your furnace’s components, hampering its performance and potentially leading to breakdowns.

A short-cycling furnace is a serious problem that requires the attention of a professional heating contractor. If your furnace isn’t performing at its best, check out Assurance Heating & Air Conditioning’s comprehensive furnace services or give us a call.

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