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If you’re a homeowner in Charles Town, WV, and experiencing a short-cycling furnace, you likely want to resolve the issue ASAP. Short cycling can mean one of two things: Either your furnace is shutting down before your home reaches the temperature set on your thermostat, or it’s simply turning off and on too often. Here are a few reasons why your furnace may be short cycling.

Dirty Furnace Filter

Your furnace’s filter, just like the filters in your air conditioning system, keeps the air entering your home free of debris. However, when you have a clogged or overly dirty filter, the furnace won’t get an influx of cool air regularly. Without this cool air, the furnace will overheat and shut off to prevent a fire, but you might not want your furnace constantly shutting off.

Luckily, this is a fairly easy situation to remedy. You can also schedule regular professional filter changes to prevent surprise short cycling.

Blocked Exhaust Vent

Every furnace has a flue that leads to an exhaust vent on the outside of your home. This vent is vitally important, as it ensures that carbon monoxide, which can be deadly, doesn’t stay inside your home. A blocked exhaust vent, like a dirty filter, will result in the furnace overheating, which will cause a short cycle.

There are few different causes for a blocked exhaust vent. One is the screen some homeowners use to cover the exhaust vent to keep out mice and other pests. However, this isn’t a good idea, as the vent can become clogged and effectively blocked very easily. Bird nests, beehives, rodent nests and even excessive ice and snow can also cause exhaust blockages.

Improperly Placed Thermostat

If your thermostat is right near a vent or another warm part of your home, it may cause the furnace to shut off before the rest of your house is adequately heated. This issue is most common when a homeowner has done a DIY thermostat installation, although you may occasionally see the issue with a professionally-installed thermostat.

Oversized Furnace

Sometimes, a homeowner chooses a furnace that’s too large for their home, thinking that it’s good to have some extra power. However, oversize furnaces typically do more harm than good.

A larger furnace will short cycle because it heats up the entirety of the house very quickly. This, in turn, leads to temperature swings in the home, which can be highly uncomfortable. The fact that the furnace shuts on and off rapidly also wastes fuel, which may lead to higher energy costs.

If your home’s furnace is too big, it’s often worthwhile to replace it with an appropriately sized furnace. This may seem like a major undertaking, but it’ll save you money in the long run and keep you more consistently comfortable in your home.

Corroded or Broken Flame Sensor

Every furnace has a flame sensor, which is a part that senses when the gas from the gas valve has been lit. The flame sensor is essential because it will shut off the gas valve if it doesn’t sense a flame. This keeps gas from flooding your home, which can cause an explosion if it meets an open flame.

A broken flame sensor may shut off the gas even when it’s lit because it can’t sense the flame. This leads to short cycling, as the whole furnace will shut off. A professional can help you determine whether you have a broken or corroded flame sensor. Sometimes, all the flame sensor needs is a good cleaning. In some cases, it may need replacement.

If you find that your furnace is short cycling, reach out to us at Griffith Energy Services to find out more about our furnace services. We have over 100 years of experience serving homeowners like you in the Charles Town, WV, area. Give us a call today.

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