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Sound Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. Blog

The Danger of Furnace Short Cycling

As you use your furnace to stay warm this winter, you need to keep an eye out for any problems that can occur due to the increased stress on the system. One of the most dangerous problems a furnace can be afflicted with is short cycling. It is important that you know where short cycling comes from, and the damage it can cause, so that you know when to call for repairs. Read on for an outline of the dangers presented by short cycling.


The most common cause of a furnace short cycling is the air filter in the system becoming clogged with dust and other debris. This causes heat to become trapped in the system, forcing the temperature to rise to high levels that potentially dangerous. The limit switch then activates and shuts down the system to protect it from overheating. The limit switch cannot solve the root problem. So as soon as the furnace reactivates it will just overheat once more and be shut down again. This cycle continues indefinitely, with the system turning on and then being shut off every couple of minutes.

The Damage

The main issue with short cycling is that it places the furnace under an immense amount of stress that it isn’t designed to deal with. The constant stress of starting up and shutting down over and over again causes the furnace to develop problems rapidly, eventually breaking down completely. If the short cycling isn’t addressed right away, you could seriously shorten the life of your furnace. As soon as you notice that your furnace is short cycling, turn it off and call for repairs.

If your furnace is having a problem with short cycling, call Sound Heating. We offer a full range of furnace repair services throughout Gig Harbor, WA. 

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