6 Reasons Why Your Furnace Keeps Switching Off and How to Take Care of It

Your furnace keeps your house warm during the frigid winter months, so it’s frustrating when something isn’t quite right. One common issue is a furnace that continuously kicks on and turns off again. This problem is called short cycling. It overworks your heating system and could result in expensive repairs or even premature replacement.

Short cycling can be caused by for several reasons. Before you book furnace repair, read about the probable causes and how to fix the issue.

1. Filthy Air Filter

The HVAC filter catches airborne dust, hair and other substances that could cause problems for furnace. If you don’t get a new filter regularly, it can eventually be dirty and block the airflow. When this occurs, a safety feature switches off the furnace to stop overheating. Inspect the filter, and if it’s dirty, get a new one. From here on out, install a new filter every 30 to 90 days to stop your furnace from short cycling.

2. Obstructed Air Vents

A dirty filter isn’t the only issue that can reduce airflow and overheat your furnace. Walk around your residence and check for closed or blocked air vents. For recommended system balance and performance, keep all registers open, even in unused rooms.

3. Dirty Blower Wheel

The furnace blower has blades that move air through the ductwork. If they are caked with dirt, the air won’t flow correctly, creating overheating and short cycling. Regularly replacing the filter is the easiest approach to stop a dirty blower wheel. If the blades are already dirty, request furnace maintenance to have them cleaned.

4. Faulty Thermostat

Inspect your thermostat next. This is the brain of your HVAC system and instructs the furnace on what to do. Ensure the thermostat is in heating mode and auto fan with the desired temperature showing on the screen. Try putting in new batteries. Also, check whether the thermostat is in bright sunlight or near a heat source that could affect the temperature reading. If you rely on a smart thermostat, visit the manufacturer’s site for troubleshooting instructions.

5. Soot-Covered Flame Sensor

The flame sensor is responsible for turning off the gas valve when no burner flame is present. The sensor can’t find the flame if it’s sooty, so the gas shuts off too soon and the furnace shuts off. Leave the adjustment of repairing a dirty flame sensor to a pro like Parker Pearce Service Experts.

6. Oversized Furnace

When it involves heating and cooling equipment, oversized isn’t always right. An oversized system adds warmth to your house too quickly, causing unpleasant temperature changes and short cycling. The only way to resolve this problem is to schedule new furnace installation.

If you try the resolutions we covered here and nothing has changed, it’s time to contact the pros at Parker Pearce Service Experts. We’ll take a look at the situation, figure out the cause, and perform the necessary service. Our aim is to restore indoor comfort, energy efficiency and trustworthy furnace performance for the remainder of the season. And our services are upheld by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee for a year.* For more details about furnace short cycling, or to schedule HVAC repair, give us a call at 301-476-4577 today!


*Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.

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