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Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Blog

Why Does My Heater Shut Down So Quickly?

When your heater starts up, it should run evenly and consistently for a full heating cycle before shutting back down. This will only be the case if your heater is correctly sized and working properly, though. Many problems could cause your heater to switch off and on too rapidly, which is known as short cycling.

As long as your home is heating up, you may not think that this is that big of a deal. In truth, though, a short cycling heater in Des Moines, IA is a big problem. It’s bad for comfort, spells trouble for your budget, and can wreak havoc on your heater itself.

The Causes, and Consequences, of Short Cycling

Short cycling can be caused by a few different issues. Some are fairly benign and easy to resolve. At least one spells pretty big trouble, though.

  • Dirty filter. A dirty air filter is a very likely cause of short cycling. The system struggles to force heated air through the filter, overheats, and shuts down to prevent damage. If you use a forced air heater, keep a clean filter in place.
  • Faulty components. If your thermostat is registering incorrect temperatures, then it may be telling your heater to shut down prematurely. You may also have a faulty thermocouple or flame sensor. These safety devices may be trying to protect you by shutting down the system, but with no real reason.
  • Oversized heater. This is a big one. If your heater is too large for your home, it is going to heat it up too quickly. That can cause it to cycle off rapidly. Replacing the heater with a properly sized system may be necessary.

Short cycling can negatively affect you in a number of ways. It drives up energy costs, as starting over and over uses more energy than running in full cycles. It also puts a lot of strain on your heating system, which could cost you even more in repair needs and a shortened lifespan. We’ll make sure that your short cycling problem is properly diagnosed and resolved.

Schedule your heating services with Schaal Heating and Cooling.

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