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Yes, Your Furnace Can Short Cycle: Here’s Why

3D-illustration-of-a-new-furnace

Short cycling is a phenomenon you may be familiar with when it happens to your air conditioner. What not everyone realizes is that furnaces can short cycle as well. Sometimes it’s even for the same reason! And just like with your air conditioner, allowing short cycling to continue can cause serious damage to the system as a whole.

We’ll give you some answers to the questions you may have about this. Why does short cycling happen? What should you do about it? What can happen to your furnace if you don’t get it fixed? Read on to find out.

Why Your Furnace Is Short Cycling

Short cycling can be a symptom of a variety of different furnace issues, so it’s important to have a professional heating technician diagnose the root cause of your furnace short cycling in San Antonio, TX. But there is one thing you can check yourself first: the air filter. 

A clogged, dusty air filter can cause short cycling because it’s not allowing enough airflow. This causes the heat to build up rather than being dispersed, so the furnace’s limit switch can be tripped to avoid overheating and burned-out components. Your air filter should be changed monthly while you’re using your heat regularly.

Other possible causes include a miscalibrated thermostat triggering the furnace to start and stop at the wrong times or a problem with the blower fan or the motor that powers it, again causing that same build-up of heat because it’s not being distributed. If your heater is new, it may be that it was not sized properly for your home. A too-large system will bring your home to temperature too quickly.

How Short Cycling Causes More Problems

In addition to needing to get your furnace repaired to address the root cause of the short cycling, you need repair to stop the short cycling from continuing, because it in itself will cause more problems. The first will be apparent from your utility bill: short cycling means the energy-intensive start of the cycle is happening much more often, and this will use much more energy and drive your bills up.

Short cycling is also bad for the furnace. Going through the start-up process so often puts a lot of strain on the system and causes more wear and tear than normal operation. You’re likely to end up with additional repairs being required if it goes on too long, and it will even shorten the life of the furnace as many components will simply wear out.

How to Address Short Cycling

As mentioned above, your first port of call should be your air filter. If that was already clean, or if changing it doesn’t solve your problem, it’s time for a qualified professional to take a look. They can determine which of these potential causes is your actual issue and repair your furnace accordingly.

In future, many of these problems can be avoided by making sure to get annual furnace maintenance. With maintenance, dust and grime will be cleaned away, lubricant will be applied to reduce friction and the associated overheating and wear and tear, and all manner of small issues can be caught before they cause these bigger problems. 

Whether you have a simple question about replacement air filters or you need to make an appointment for repair, our team is eager to help.

Our professionals are ready to take care of you when you reach out. Contact Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating today to schedule an appointment with our professionals.

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