What Is Short Cycling (And Why Is It Bad for Heaters)?

winter-socksDoes it seem like your heater is starting up and stopping much more frequently than it used to? Have you gotten used to very short system run times, because that’s the way your heater has always run? Don’t get complacent. This problem is called short cycling, and it can lead to a lot more problems down the road. There are many different reasons why heaters may short cycle. Not all of them are serious, but some definitely can be.

This is one of the reasons why you need our team to investigate your short cycling heater. At least, once you’ve ruled out the simplest cause that could be to blame. In today’s post, we’ll cover some of the different reasons for short cycling, what you can do on your own, and why professional intervention may be necessary. Don’t take any chances with your home heating system. “Common” problems don’t mean “unimportant” problems.

Check Your Air Filter First

You may wonder how it is that a dirty air filter could cause your heater to shut on and off too frequently. The answer lies in the excessive strain that an extremely dirty air filter can put on your system. That filter isn’t there to clean the air in your home. It’s there to protect the system from pollutants. And if you don’t change it enough, then it is not going to have the desired effect! Failure to change filters regularly is a common reason for needing HVAC services in Asheville, NC.

When your air filter is too dirty, your heater has to work harder and harder to force heated air through the house. That puts a lot of strain on the system, which can lead to overheating. The system may then shut itself down to avoid the damage caused by overheating. You can help to protect the condition of your system, as well as its performance quality and efficiency levels, by changing your air filter regularly.

Do You Use a Heat Pump?

Heat pumps are outstanding HVAC systems. We recommend them all the time.  They are versatile, they are efficient, and they are reliable. But they also use refrigerant in their heating process, and a short cycling heat pump may be leaking this vital heat transfer fluid. That can lead to serious problems if the leak is not repaired and the refrigerant recharged in a timely fashion.

If your heat pump is low on refrigerant, it will struggle to transfer heat effectively. The compressor will be strained, and can eventually fail if you keep running the system. This is a major problem, and the cost of repairing or replacing just the compressor often means that a full system replacement is the best option. Don’t ignore short cycling in your heat pump!

Has It Always Been an Issue?

Think back. Has your heater always run in short bursts? Unfortunately, it may just be oversized for your home. The system may heat the house too rapidly and is short cycling because of this. Only a replacement with a properly sized system can solve this problem.

Schedule your heating services with Comfort Central, Inc.

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