Telling The Difference Between Cold Cycling And Short Cycling And When You Need A New Furnace

Posted on: 10 March 2018

Many homeowners may have heard of the terms cold cycling and short cycling and wondered what they meant for their heater. Grasping the difference between these situations can help you know when it is time to install a new furnace and when you are just fine with your current model.

Just How Short Is Short Cycling?

When it is cold out, your furnace is likely to turn on and off regularly. A normal cycle includes turning on and off about three to eight times every hour. During colder temperatures, this frequency may be more rapid. That is completely normal for the weather and only becomes short cycling if you find your furnace only runs for a few minutes or even seconds.

Unfortunately, this means that your heater is suffering from serious problems that may be affecting the way it runs. Catching these issues quickly means that you can fix them without replacing your heater. That said, it is sometimes impossible to avoid heater installation in this situation.

The Causes Of This Problem

If you find that furnace is not cold cycling but short cycling, it is important to know why it occurs. Often, your air filters are blocked and causing the heater to trip on and off more frequently. However, you may also find that your thermostat is malfunctioning and forcing it to turn on and off more regularly than it should in normal circumstances.

In most cases, these kinds of simple repairs should keep your heater from short cycling and get it back into a normal schedule that makes sense. However, there is also a chance that you need a new heater. Knowing when a new heater is necessary can help you either save yourself a little money or take steps towards completely replacing your furnace.

When You Need A New Heater

Have a heating expert check out your furnace and perform several maintenance steps. For example, calibrating your thermostat may help it avoid triggering too rapidly. You may also need to clean your air filter, remove obstructions from your heating ducts, and perform other steps that get your heater running properly.

However, there is also a chance that you may need a new heater. This situation usually occurs if your heater simply fails to react to any maintenance steps. It also occurs if short cycling causes other parts of the heater to malfunction, such as the heating fan or even the heating coils. It is usually easier to simply replace your furnace in this situation.

So if you think that your heater has moved past the rapid cycles common when it is cold out and has moved to short cycling, talk to a heater installation expert today. They can find a new furnace that meets your needs and install it quickly and efficiently. Visit websites like for more information.