Why Does My Furnace Keep Turning On and Off?

Posted On: February 02, 2015

Is your furnace kicking off and on over and over again? This is a common problem with several possible causes.

If your furnace isn’t working and you need immediate assistance in the Illinois area, call Ernst Heating & Cooling for emergency furnace repair!

Common Causes for Short-Cycling

Short-cycling, as it’s called in the trade, means your furnace is trying to tell you something. Your furnace might be turning on and off because:

  • The thermostat is malfunctioning – First things first: check your thermostat to make sure it’s set correctly.
  • The air filters are dirty and need to be changed – When warmed air can’t get through a filter, it heads right back up into the furnace. This makes your furnace think your house is nice and cozy, so it shuts off. When the thermostat tells it that the temperature has gone down, the furnace kicks on again and the cycle repeats. In addition to not heating your home correctly, this can also cause stress cracks on the furnace’s heat exchanger, which can lead to additional problems.
  • The flame sensor is dirty or corroded – Burning fuel produces a tiny amount of water, which can lead to rust buildup on the flame sensor, which may then malfunction. This high-voltage equipment should be cleaned by a professional.
  • Ventilation is blocked – Make sure nothing is blocking your furnace vents. After a heavy snowfall, clear snow from the vent area as soon as possible. Make sure the vent is cleared of debris throughout the year. Blocked vents can cause dangerous exhaust to get backed up and released into your home.
  • The motor draft inducer may be broken – This mechanism is what makes the fan run in your furnace. If it’s not working correctly, it can affect the fan, the venting, and more, causing your furnace to cycle on and off.

What Short Cycling Does to Your Furnace

When your furnace continually cycles on and off, not only is it annoying—it causes more wear and tear on your equipment and can result in costly repairs if not diagnosed early.

Furnace Maintenance and Repair in Metro East Illinois

To recap, if your furnace keeps turning off and on, here’s what to do:

  • Check your thermostat
  • Check your furnace’s air filter

If neither the thermostat nor the air filter is the culprit, call Ernst Heating & Cooling for furnace repair in the Hamel area.

And to keep your furnace running smoothly (and possibly avoid expensive repairs) get Ernst’s Energy Savings Agreement, which includes:

  • Two precision tune-ups a year (one on the air conditioner, one on the furnace).
  • A 15 percent discount on any repairs that need to be made.
  • Priority scheduling.
  • Automatic scheduling of maintenance appointments—you won’t have to remember to call us; we’ll call you to set the appointment!
  • A 15 percent discount on filters.
  • Peace of mind knowing that you have done everything you can to reduce the risk of a major breakdown!

Get Your Furnace Fixed Fast

If you’re experiencing problems with your furnace, get help from the local experts at Ernst Heating & Cooling. Since 1954, we’ve provided exceptional service for people throughout Metro East. Get service in hours, not days!

If you suspect a problem with your furnace, call Ernst Heating & Cooling at 618-887-6093.

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