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Furnace Short Cycling: What It Is and Why You Should Worry About It

gas-burnerThere are a lot of different problems that can afflict furnaces, some of which are more dangerous than others. One furnace issue, though, should always prompt an immediate call for repair. That problem is short cycling. Short cycling doesn’t necessarily pose a threat to your health, but it can absolutely destroy the furnace if it isn’t properly addressed in time. Read on to find out more about short cycling, what causes it, and why you should have it dealt with as soon as possible.

Causes of Short Cycling

Short cycling can be caused by a few different factors. It’s possible that there’s a problem with the thermostat that is causing the furnace to receive incorrect commands. The more common cause of furnace short cycling, though, is heat becoming trapped in the system. This often happens either as the result of a malfunctioning air handler or clogged air filter. No air flow into the furnace means the system has no way to pump heat out of the main body. This is the main source of the problem.

As the temperature in the furnace rises, the system will eventually activate its limit switch and shut down as a safety measure. The system will cool off for a while, then will restart. Without being repaired, though, the furnace will simply overheat again and shut down again. This is what causes the constant turning on and off that characterizes short cycling. If you start to notice that your furnace seems to be turning itself on and off more often than it normally does, then you might want to call a professional and have them take a look at it just in case.

Effects of Short Cycling

Short cycling creates a few different problems for the furnace that is doing it. First, it prevents the furnace from heating the home as well as it should. Furnaces are designed to operate in heating cycles, and not being able to complete a full cycle means the system’s heating efficiency is impacted. That’s actually the least of the problems that short cycling causes, though.

Long term, the biggest issue with short cycling is that it increases the rate at which the various parts of the furnace wear down. This causes the furnace to become more and more likely to develop problems over time, and even shortens its lifespan by years if not corrected in time. If you want to make sure that your furnace remains in top condition, and lasts as long as possible, it’s a good idea to make sure that you call for repairs as soon as you notice your furnace short cycling. The longer you wait, the more damage the problem will be able to do to the system.

Area Heating & Cooling, Inc. provides comprehensive furnace repair services throughout Vancouver, WA. If you need to have your furnace repaired, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our professional heating technicians. We’ll make sure that your furnace is restored to proper shape.

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