Do you think that “good enough” is good enough when it comes to the way in which your heater operates? If so, we’ll be seeing you for heating repair in Norfolk, VA, before long. Don’t you think it makes more sense to have “minor” issues with your heater resolved before they inevitably become major issues? Because even those problems that you think you can live with or ride out are going to hit a point where they either become intolerable or they start to affect your system in a more severe way.
A prime example of this is short cycling. When it first starts, it is easy to say well, I’ll deal with this for the time being. What homeowners fail to realize is that, while their systems are still technically running, they’re not running properly. That leads to a lot of damages that could have been easily avoided if more prompt action were taken. So read on, and be sure to reach out if you have any concerns about your home heating system.
What We Mean by “Short Cycling”
Your heater should not be running all the time. If it seems to be, then you need to contact us right away! But your heater also should not be running in short bursts. It should be running in full, even cycles, maintaining comfortable temperatures throughout the house without needing to make major, prompt changes. If it is running briefly, then shutting back down, but then starting right back up again, that is short cycling.
And that is a problem.
The Effects of Short Cycling
Your heater incurs a certain amount of wear and tear throughout the heating season as a result of running normally. When the heater runs abnormally, however, it can suffer a lot more wear and tear than it otherwise would. That leads to a much higher risk of operational problems and damages. You may find that your heater has broken down just when you need it the most.
Now, a complete breakdown is not the only way in which short cycling negatively affects your heater. If your system is short cycling, then you are also paying more to heat your home than you should. A heater uses more energy when starting up than it does when running normally. And if your heater is running in short bursts, then chances are that you are paying more for a lesser heating performance.
What Causes Short Cycling?
The causes of short cycling can really vary in terms of severity. It could be that a dirty air filter in your system is causing it to overheat. This you can resolve on your own.
However, you could also have an issue with a faulty run capacitor in a heat pump, or your furnace’s thermocouple or thermostat could be to blame. The thermocouple may also be working fine, shutting the system down due to real combustion issues. You’ll need a professional to diagnose and resolve such problems.
If you do use a heat pump, you could also have a refrigerant leak in your system. You’ll probably notice it is not functioning effectively if this is the case. If you have a refrigerant leak, you could seriously damage the system’s compressor by continuing to run it.