A heater in good condition turns on and off as needed. It runs to heat up the home until it reaches the desired temperature wherein it automatically shuts down. This cycle usually runs for several minutes.
Sometimes, however, the heater short cycles — a situation where the heater keeps turning on and off every few seconds. If you’ve noticed this happening with your heater, don’t worry. Short cycling doesn’t put your family at risk. In fact, it shows that the AC’s safety features are working. Once the heater senses that it’s in an unsafe condition, it turns itself off as a safety precaution.
Short cycling, however, is highly inefficient as it uses up a lot of energy. It also compromises the home’s comfort level because short bursts of heat won’t warm up the place effectively. Furthermore, it reduces the lifespan of the heater because it strains its components, especially the starter.
What Causes Short Cycling?
There are a number of reasons behind short cycling, and Cowboy Services AC & Heating compiled three possible culprits.
- Airflow and Drafts – Improper airflow (usually from dirty filters) and drafts from windows and doors could make the thermostat register incorrect temperatures. This, in turn, causes the heater to turn on and off repeatedly.
- Faulty Thermostats – A faulty thermostat could cause the heater to overheat, and the safety switches would then turn the heater off to prevent damage. After cooling down for a few seconds, the heater would start itself again to heat the house. The heater overheats, and the cycle begins again.
- Improper Size – A unit that’s too large for the home could short cycle as it generates British thermal units or BTUs too fast and prevents the heater from running a full cycle.
Calling the Pros
Short cycling is a problem that requires the expertise of a trained professional. Apart from having the right tools, a pro can repair the unit and prevent stop the unit from short cycling again.
If you suspect that your heater is short cycling, turn to Cowboy Services AC & Heating. Through our heat repair in Dallas, we will inspect your heater to find out what’s wrong and carry out the necessary repairs.