Is Your Heater Short Cycling?
GRmetro Heating and Cooling is a locally owned and operated HVAC company serving homeowners throughout Grand Rapids, Michigan and the surrounding areas.
If so, then you have a problem of some sort on your hands. The tricky thing about short cycling in particular, though, is that there are multiple potential causes of the problem, and not all of them are terribly serious. However, the problem could be serious, so just assuming it’s nothing to worry about can really come back to haunt you when you discover that real damage has been done. That is why, in today’s post, we’ll explore short cycling a bit more closely.
We’ll take a look at what short cycling is, when to be concerned, and what you may be able to do to resolve the problem on your own (in one particular scenario, anyway!). So read on, and remember that routine heating maintenance is the best way in which to keep any problems with your heater to a bare minimum. Let the heating technicians on our staff keep your heater in Grand Rapids in the best working condition possible, and we’ll also repair it when anything does go wrong.
Is Your Heater Starting and Stopping too Frequently?
If so, then it is short cycling. Your heater should not be running all of the time, of course. If it is, then there is a problem to deal with. However, it should not be running in short cycles (see where that name comes from, now?) either. Your heater should run in full, even cycles in order to keep your home comfortable properly. So why might it be short cycling? Let’s take a look first at…
The Best Case Scenario
If you use a forced air heating system, then your heater may actually be short cycling because the air filter in your system is too dirty. When the filter is not cleaned or changed regularly enough, it can become so clogged that it restricts airflow through the system. That can cause the system to overheat, and it will cycle down in an effort to protect itself from damages caused by that short cycling.
Check your air filter before calling for help. If it is very dirty, then swap it out, consider yourself lucky, and then dedicate yourself to changing your air filter more regularly in the years to come. If the air filter is clean, though, you’re looking at a different problem. Let’s take a look next at…
The Worst Case Scenario
It sounds strange, but your heater may actually be too big for your home. Now, a heater that is too small for your property is obviously no good. However, a heater that is too big is actually no better. Temperatures can be adjusted too quickly, and that can cause the system to short cycle. You could also have a refrigerant leak if you use a heat pump.
Why is short cycling such a big deal? Well, in addition to the issues that could cause system failure, it actually winds up costing you more money to run your system. It requires more energy to start a heater up than to keep the heater running. If your heater has to keep starting up over and over again, then you are actually going to wind up paying more for a lesser heating performance.