Tips, Tricks, and HVAC Expertise Blog

Tips, Tricks, and HVAC Expertise Blog

What It Means When Your Furnace Cycles On and Off Repeatedly

When your furnace is working properly it should cycle three to eight times per hour. Your furnace automatically cycles on when it senses that the air is too cold. Then, when the temperature in your home or business reaches an optimal level, the heating system shuts down in response. This process is so automatic that most home or business owners don’t notice the cycle, and with the warm weather still here, you may be tuning it out altogether.

But, when your furnace is turning on and off at random times throughout the day, there may be a more serious problem. Here is a short list of what your furnace is doing, and how to troubleshoot fixing a furnace before you need to place a call to Furnace Solutions.

May be short-cycling

Short-cycling is when your furnace keeps turning on and off in shorter periods of time than its usual cycle. This problem originates from within the heating system itself. And when neglected, can cause permanent damage to your heating unit, resulting in higher utility costs, and in worse cases a full furnace replacement.

A quick test to see whether your furnace is short cycling is to run a test cycle of your heating unit, counting how many times it stops and restarts in over 60 minutes. The average furnace cycle is three to eight times per hour. Anything more than that, it’s time to call an HVAC professional to run a full diagnostic, and provide you with a solution that won’t hurt your wallet.

May be too cold

You might not want to think about the cold weather coming back, but even in the warmer months in Edmonton, your house may be too cold for your furnace. Temperature extremes are not your thermostat's friend.

When it’s time to use your furnace try to avoid turning your thermostat all the way down. Sure it can save you some money in the short-run, but in the long-term you’re making the furnace work harder which could cause you to pay the consequences later when you need your furnace the most. To put less stress on your furnace and reduce the risk of a potentially expensive furnace repair, try pre-programming your furnace to run on a preferred day and time for example, 30 minutes before you wake up.

May be too small

Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner, the size of your furnace will depend on many factors, including the age of the home, the number of rooms, square footage, and number of occupants. Having a furnace that is too small or too large will affect its cycle.

You will see more problems in a furnace that is too small since it won’t be able to keep up with the dropping temperatures. It will most likely fail to make up the difference to heat your home, or commercial space. They end up running continuously or kick on and off every few minutes to keep up with meeting your desired temperature. Although a small unit is definitely a cheaper initial cost, the backlog of furnace services, maintenance and repairs may end up costing you more.

Get a second opinion

Working with an experienced local HVAC professional is a great way to ensure you have a furnace that is meeting your needs and working to your expectations. Whether it is just a matter of programming, or if you have a continuous problem on your hands, it’s best to consult with an HVAC technician.

Our team at Furnace Solutions will be able to provide you with tips about furnace maintenance, and diagnose the problem to determine if you need a heating and furnace repair. Contact us today to chat or book a free furnace consult.

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