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Why Does My Heater Keep Starting and Stopping?

dog-under-blanketIf your heater is up and running and producing heat, then you may think that everything is just fine. This is not necessarily true, though, and that is a lesson that too many homeowners wind up learning the hard way. In fact, you should never wait for your heater to break down completely before scheduling repairs. There are plenty of other problems that will develop leading up to such an event, and they all deserve to be taken seriously. This is the case with short cycling.

Today, we are going to look at what short cycling really is, as well as the problems that may cause it—and the problems caused by it. While short cycling may not cause your system to break down immediately, it is going to take its toll over time, and it will produce a number of negative effects along the way. It gets too cold around here to take any such chances with your heater in Norwalk, CT.

What Is Short Cycling?

Short cycling refers to a condition in which an HVAC system starts up, but then runs only very briefly before it cycles back down. This is in contrast to a system that is running properly and completing full cycles. While the heater may be generating heat, it is unlikely to function as effectively as it should as it short cycles. That is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the problems that may develop.

What Problems Does Short Cycling Cause?

Many, to be honest. As mentioned above, your house simply is not going to be as comfortable as it should be if your system is short cycling. It will shut down before the desired temperature is met, and will have to start right back up over and over until it achieves that goal. This constant restarting leads to other issues, too.

It takes more energy to actually start a system up than it does to keep it running properly. That means that, even as your comfort declines, you are probably going to be paying more and more to heat your home when your heater is short cycling. This isn’t even the only way in which short cycling can wind up costing you money, though.

The constant restarting of the system also puts a lot of wear and tear on the heater. That wear and tear greatly increases the risk of encountering potentially serious operational problems with your heater. Continuing to run a short cycling system just because it is still technically functional is only going to lead to further problems down the road.

What’s the Solution?

There are a few different reasons why the system may short cycle. You may simply have a malfunctioning thermostat, for instance, that is registering temperatures wrong and needs to be replaced. A very dirty air filter in a forced air heater is actually a very common cause, too, with the increased airflow resistance leading to overheating and, in turn, causing the system to shut down.

Those are relatively easy problems to fix. You could also be facing unsafe combustion temperatures triggering your thermocouple to cycle the system down, though. You could even have a refrigerant leak if you’re using a heat pump. It is always best to have the system assessed by a trained professional in order to discover the exact cause, and necessary solution, of and for the problem.

Call Celco Heating and Air Conditioning for your heating service needs.

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