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Douglas Cooling & Heating Blog

How Short Cycling Can Destroy Your Furnace

Is your furnace turning on and off every couple of minutes? If so, it’s probably short cycling. That means you have a problem. Short cycling is one of the most harmful problems that can afflict a furnace, and if not taken care of as soon as possible it can destroy the entire system. Read on to find out more about how short cycling works, and why you should take it seriously.

The Cause

Short cycling is caused by heat becoming trapped in the main body of the furnace, typically because of a broken air handler or clogged air filter. As the temperature in the furnace rises, the limit switch activates and shuts down the system to prevent it from becoming damaged due to overheating. Once the furnace has cooled, it will reactivate and attempt to complete its heating cycle. Without solving the core problem, though, the furnace will simply overheat again and shut down again. This is what causes that start/stop rhythm during short cycling.

The Problem

The first thing you may notice with a short cycling furnace is that it isn’t putting out as much heat as it should be. That’s because the system has most of its output trapped inside itself, which is the source of the problem in the first place. That’s far from the worst of it, though. The bigger issue is that it places the furnace under an immense amount of stress. It will cause the system to wear down much faster than it otherwise would. Breakdowns will increase, and eventually the entire system will fail. This is why you need to call for repairs as soon as you notice your furnace short cycling. The faster you can get the system repaired, the better off it will be.

Douglas Cooling & Heating provides a full range of furnace repair services throughout Birmingham, AL.

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