Skip navigation

Iowa’s Most Trusted

24/7 Service Available


Iowa’s Most Trusted

Des Moines Location

24/7 Service Available



Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Blog

Why Is My Heater Short Cycling?

winter-backgroundIn a perfect world, you would invest in a heating system once, and for the rest of your life that heater would be there for you whenever you need it. It would start right up, it would heat your home perfectly, and it would hardly a cost a dime in doing so! Well, we hate to hammer this point home, but it’s not a perfect world. There are a lot of different problems and aggravations that we all must deal with, and a malfunctioning heater is one of them.

We really want to stress to you today that you should never ignore any sign of trouble from your heating system. The more that you do, the more likely it becomes that you are going to wind up with serious repair needs on your hands. Take short cycling, for instance. You may think that your heater is okay because it’s at least starting up and generating some heat. Ignoring short cycling, however, will likely result in the need for more serious heating repair in Ankeny, IA.

What Is Short Cycling?

Short cycling refers to the phenomenon in which your heater starts up, but runs only briefly before cycling back down. This is in contrast to the normal function of a heater in which a system runs in full cycles in order to heat your home. It may not sound like that big of a deal so long as your home is comfortable, but trust us when we say that short cycling has a number of different negative effects on heaters.

Why Is It a Problem?

A short cycling heater is simply a heater that is not functioning properly. Did you know that it takes a lot more energy to start a heating system up than it does to run it regularly? That is why you don’t switch your heater off every time your home warms up, and then turn it back on when your home gets too chilly.

Short cycling seriously kills energy efficiency, and you are going to see that reflected in your heating costs. That is not the only way in which short cycling can wind up costing you money, though. If your system short cycles, it is also going to put a lot of undue stress on your home heating system.

When that happens, it is only a matter of time before operational problems develop. A short cycling heater is at much greater risk of requiring repairs. Those repairs can really add up over time, and eventually, you may need to replace your system entirely prematurely due to the damages sustained!

What Causes It?

A number of different factors could be to blame. Your system could have a very dirty air filter, for example. If this is the case, the system may overheat and shut down as a means of self-preservation. Simply changing the filer could be the solution that you need.

Of course, if you use a heat pump, you could also have a refrigerant leak. If this is the case, then continuing to run the system is really going to degrade it over time, and you may wind up with irreparable damages! These are the reasons why resolving short cycling promptly are so important.

Schedule your heating services with Schaal Heating and Cooling.


Comments are closed.

Join Our Mailing List: