If you’re at the end of your rope with inconsistent furnace behavior, try these troubleshooting tips.
Many homeowners don’t realize that issues with their heating and cooling systems can be solved with basic troubleshooting. Before you call in the cavalry, it pays to learn a little bit about the potential issues that are common with furnaces and try to see if there’s a simple solution for the behavior of the system.
Is Short Cycling the Problem?
When a furnace is operating at peak efficiency, it cycles on when the thermostat sends an electrical signal based on current room temperature. After receiving that signal, your furnace turns on the heat and starts circulating warm air until the ideal temperature is reached. Then it automatically shuts off. But a furnace that’s short cycling is not adhering to this system behavior, and it starts turning on and off in more rapid succession.
Short cycling usually has to do with an issue in the heating element and needs to be addressed very quickly to prevent further damage from occurring. In the meantime you can count on paying more in the utility bill because of overall system inefficiency.
Thermostat on the Fritz?
Another common culprit of odd furnace behavior is the thermostat. This is good news for homeowners because it’s a relatively inexpensive and convenient thing to fix. Thermostats are small electrical devices that detect temperature within your home. They are responsible for sending signals to your heating and cooling system, telling them to turn on and off. If the thermostat isn’t sensing temperatures accurately, it could be giving bad instructions to the furnace.
Tips for Air Filters and Duct Work
For any and all heating systems, ductwork and air filters need to be kept clean. It’s the law of the land. If you haven’t replaced your air filter in a while, you should start there.
Dirty air filters can interfere with the efficiency of your furnace; since the warm air can’t pass through a clogged filter, it backs up and sends a faulty message to the furnace that your home is warm when it actually isn’t. This incorrect message causes the furnace to shut off, only to be reawakened by a message from the thermostat a short while later. Short cycling from dusty filters and ducts is easier to fix, but should still be treated as a serious threat to energy efficiency within your home.
Contact Spring Valley Air Conditioning to get more effective troubleshooting tips to help you with your HVAC needs.