Short Cycling? Why It Happens And What You Should Do About It

Short Cycling

Does something seem off when you are heating your home?

Does your heater seem to start up at an appropriate time when temperatures in your home get chilly, but then it runs only very briefly once it’s started up?

Does it then start right back up after it’s cycled off?

This is called short cycling, and it’s one of those heating issues that could have any number of potential causes.

Some causes are simple to fix. Others have severe implications for the heater in question.

First, let’s acknowledge the fact that no, your heater is not supposed to be running around the clock.

This doesn’t mean, though, that your heater rapidly cycling is performing as it should.

If it seems to you like your heater is not running in full, regular cycles, definitely reach out to our team members.

If heating repair is necessary, then you want to schedule the service promptly.

Why Does It Happen

Like we mentioned above, there are a lot of different reasons why a heater may short cycle.

That is why having this particular problem, like any other heating issue, is so vital that it is professionally diagnosed.

There are a few potential causes that you’ll want to rule out right away before you call for professional help.

First, check your air filter. If you are not keeping up with filter changes regularly as you should be, you are putting your heater at risk.

The system may be overheating because its air filter is so dirty.

If this is the case, then it will cycle down to prevent damages to itself.

Just putting a fresh filter in place can resolve the problem if that’s the cause.

If that doesn’t seem to be the case, then you’re getting into the area where professional repairs are likely needed.

It may be as simple as a malfunctioning thermostat or a thermocouple that does not correctly register combustion temperatures.

Of course,  that thermocouple may also be working correctly, meaning that there are unsafe combustion temperatures.

That’s just an example of how short cycling can surface problems dangerous not only to your system’s integrity but also to your safety.

Short Cycling And Heat Pumps

If you use a heat pump, you don’t want to put short cycling on the backburner. Why?

Because heat pumps use refrigerant to transfer heat into your home, and a short cycling heat pump could mean that you’ve got a refrigerant leak on your hands.

Refrigerant leaks can cause compressors to seize up over time, and you could destroy your heat pump if you don’t have leaks pinpointed and resolved promptly enough.

If you’ve ruled out any obvious issues like a dirty air filter, call our heat professionals immediately.

Even if the system isn’t in immediate danger, short cycling will drive up heating costs and will result in excessive wear and tear to the unit regardless.

Call us today at Guardian Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule an appointment.

“This past year we had Kurt, with Guardian Heating and Air, out to our house to install a mini-split system. We took Kurt‘s recommendation on the sizing of what we needed for our home. WE  COULDN’T BE HAPPIER!!!!! Kurt’s attention to detail and level of professionalism made for a quick and clean installation.  I work as a heavy civil construction superintendent, and having good contractors with a high level of integrity is key to a successful project. I may be in a different trade, but Guardian Heating and Air is somebody I would like to have on my team.”




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