Furnace Cycling – Why Should I Care?
A homeowner should certainly care about their furnace short cycling. Furnace short cycling shortens the life of the furnace and also presents the homeowner with high energy bills.
There are three typical types of furnaces. One is the electric resistance furnace, where air is pushed by a blower through heating elements, picking up heat and then distributing it throughout the house.
In a gas burner, a mix of gas and air is ignited by a pilot light and this is what heats the house.
The most complicated of furnaces is the oil furnace, which has two motors. One runs the filter and blower system that is present in the other furnaces and the other motor mixes the oil with the air and ignites it with the equivalent of a spark plug.
When any of these types of furnaces cycle too often it usually means that they have a clogged filter or that the blower is malfunctioning. In the electric resistance furnace the unit can overheat from this problem. The clogged filter will require replacing, then oil and adjustment of the blower is required. This service can be provided through an HVAC professional such as Langton Heating & Air Conditioning.
The furnace will either have a direct drive motor or a V-belt and pulley mechanism. The direct drive blower usually doesn’t need much maintenance. Ask your licensed contractor to provide a full maintenance check on your equipment.
To oil either type of belt, a few drops of non-detergent oil are put into lubrication ports in the blowers. This should be done at the beginning of the heating and cooling seasons. Blowers that are driven by belts will need belts that are at just the right tension and neither too tight nor too slack. The belt should give about an inch when it’s pressed. An HVAC contractor will make sure that the belts are neither frayed, cracked nor have any sign of wear.
An oil furnace can cycle too often because the limit control hasn’t been set properly. Adjusting the limit control can put the furnace blower on continuous circulation, which will help the system heat or cool the house in a more even way. This might not reduce the total energy the system consumes, but might prevent higher energy bills. Some people don’t find the continuous air circulation comfortable and if members of the household complain about it the blower might need to be slowed down. A licensed HVAC technician can inspect your entire system in order to fix the problem and make your living space more comfortable.
For more questions on furnace cycling or any HVAC-related issues, contact us at 905-312-9644