If you’ve ever noticed your furnace turning itself on and off every few minutes, you might have a big problem. That behavior is called short cycling, and it can cause a whole slew of problems up to and including the early death of your furnace. It is important that you call for repairs as soon as you notice that your furnace doing this. You don’t just have to wait for your furnace to develop this problem, though. Read on to find out what causes short cycling, and how you can prevent it.
The Air Filter
Your furnace is protected by an air filter that sits in the air return duct. The filter prevents dust and debris from making it into the furnace and causing problems. If the air filter isn’t cleaned or replaced every few months, though, it can become clogged to the point where it obstructs air flow into the furnace. This traps heat inside the furnace, causing the internal temperature of the system to skyrocket. The limit switch then activates, shutting down the system to protect it from damage from overheating. The problem is that the limit switch is only a temporary fix. The air filter is still clogged, which causes the system to overheat again as soon as it restarts.
Effects of Short Cycling
Short cycling is such a problem because it subjects the furnace to a massive amount of stress. This accelerates wear and tear on the system, causing parts to fail and shortening the life of the furnace considerably. The best way to prevent this from happening is to have your air filter cleaned every few months, and to call for repairs as soon as you notice it happening.