Why Does My Furnace Keep Shutting Off?

A woman adjusting a thermostat.

When the cold winds come knocking, nothing is more important than a reliable heating system to keep your home warm and cozy. But what if you notice your furnace is short cycling, or worse, it turns off every 15 minutes? Understanding the reasons behind these disturbances can help you address the issue promptly and efficiently.

So, why does your furnace keep shutting off? Let’s discuss what could be causing this problem in your home and some common remedies.

Understanding Furnace Short Cycling

Before we dive into the root causes, it’s crucial to understand what it means when a furnace is short-cycling. Simply put, furnace short cycling happens when your furnace turns on and off in quick succession, often before your home has reached the desired temperature. This erratic behavior not only leaves you shivering but can lead to higher energy bills and undue wear on your heating systems.

What Are the Symptoms of a Short Cycling Furnace?

  • The furnace turns off before reaching the set temperature.
  • Your furnace is turning off every 15 minutes or even sooner.
  • Noticeable spikes in your energy bills.

Reasons Why Your Furnace Keeps Shutting Off

So, why does your furnace keep shutting off? There can be several reasons why your furnace keeps experiencing this issue, and it’s important to understand that there isn’t always one straightforward answer. Let’s discuss what can cause short cycling problems in your home.

1. Dirty Air Filters

One of the most common culprits behind a furnace that keeps shutting off is dirty air filters. When the filters become clogged, airflow is restricted. This causes the furnace to overheat, triggering a safety device that shuts it off.

2. Dirty Flame Sensor

The flame sensor’s primary function is to detect whether the furnace is burning fuel properly. A dirty flame sensor might mistakenly determine the furnace is not working correctly, causing it to shut down as a safety feature.

3. Malfunctioning Gas Valve

The gas valve controls the flow of gas to your heating system. If it’s faulty, the furnace might not receive the necessary gas supply, causing it to shut off frequently.

4. Faulty Thermostat

If your furnace is short-cycling, you might want to take a closer look at your thermostat. Now, you may be wondering: Why does your furnace keep shutting off when there’s a problem with the thermostat?

Essentially, a thermostat that’s not working properly can send incorrect temperature readings to the furnace. If the furnace believes the house has reached the desired temperature, it will shut off prematurely.

5. Oversized Furnace

An oversized furnace can heat your home too quickly, causing it to shut down before a complete furnace cycle. This frequent on-and-off pattern is a clear indicator of a furnace that’s too large for your space.

Tips to Prevent Short Cycling

The good news is that there are some valuable tips and strategies that you can use to prevent short cycling. Let’s go over what you can do to keep your furnace running smoothly and efficiently.

1. Regular Maintenance

Ensuring your furnace is working properly through routine check-ups can prevent many issues. HVAC technicians are trained to spot problems before they escalate, making maintenance a top priority.

2. Check and Replace Filters

Dirty air filters are a significant contributor to short cycling. Regularly checking and replacing them will ensure proper airflow, allowing your furnace to function efficiently.

3. Keep Air Vents Unobstructed

Ensure that your air vents, both supply and return, are clear of obstructions like furniture or drapes. This ensures optimal airflow, preventing unnecessary stress on your HVAC system.

4. Opt for an Energy Efficient Model

If your furnace is old and causing constant problems, consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient model. Modern heating systems are designed to be more responsive and less prone to issues like short cycling.

When to Call in the Experts

While some causes behind why a furnace keeps shutting off can be addressed on your own, others require the expertise of trained HVAC technicians. If you’ve tried troubleshooting and your furnace is still short cycling, or if you’re not comfortable diagnosing the issue yourself, it’s time to call in the professionals.

Gagne Heating & Air Conditioning is the heating company you can count on. With experienced technicians and a commitment to quality, we’re here to ensure your heat source functions seamlessly all season long.

Schedule Your Heating Services Today!

So, why does your furnace keep shutting off? As you can see, there isn’t one precise answer to this question. Your furnace is an essential component of your home, especially during those chilly winter months. If you notice your furnace is short-cycling, understanding the underlying causes can help you take swift action. Regular maintenance, timely repairs, and being attentive to your furnace’s needs can make all the difference.
If you’re experiencing problems with your furnace or want to ensure it’s in top shape for the upcoming season, don’t wait. Schedule a heating repair in Alpharetta with Gagne Heating & Air Conditioning today! Remember, it’s always better to address small problems before they turn into bigger, more costly ones.