The cold weather has finally set in and you are trying to figure out the ideal settings for your home furnace and heating system, but it seems like your furnace is running an awful lot compared to previous winters. Should you be alarmed? Read today’s heating and cooling blog from GMG HVAC in Bethpage — your local HVAC experts — as we explore 5 common reasons that your furnace is cycling more often than it should.

For the best furnace repair and maintenance services in Bethpage, call the team at GMG HVAC. We will happily give your system a checkup and maintenance service so you can have peace of mind knowing that your family will be warm and safe this winter.

To begin with, let’s define what we mean when we say that your furnace is constantly running. In most homes, a furnace should cycle 2-3 times per hour, running for roughly 8-15 minutes per cycle depending on a few factors. If your furnace is running for significantly longer than this or is firing up and turning off quickly and frequently — known as short cycling — you may have one of the following problems.

A Dirty Air Filter

The most common cause of a short cycling furnace is a dirty air filter that is long overdue for a change. A dirty furnace filter will limit the amount of air that is moving over the heat exchanger — the part of your furnace that actually heats air. Without enough air to move, or exchange, the heat too, your furnace will overheat and shut itself off. Once it cools a little, it will try again and run into the same problem. Remember to change your furnace filter regularly or schedule the furnace repair team at GMG HVAC to do this for you.

A Dirty Flame Sensor

The flame sensor in your heater has one job — to check to see that there is a flame present whenever the gas valve is open. If your gas heater is running and no flame is present, you will accumulate dangerous levels of natural gas inside your heater and home. The flame sensor prevents this.

Over time, a flame sensor can become dirty with rust, carbon, dust, or another residue that inhibits its ability to register the presence of a flame, causing your furnace to turn off. If this is the problem that you are facing, then you need the help of a professional furnace repair or HVAC company.

An Improperly Placed Thermostat

At GMG HVAC in Bethpage, we sometimes to run into this head-scratcher — an improperly placed thermostat. Your thermostat should be placed on an interior wall away from direct sunlight to avoid inaccurate temperature readings.

A thermostat in a sunny, warm place can misread the temperature as warmer than it really is and prevent your furnace from working properly, while a cold thermostat placed on an exterior wall or somewhere near a heavy cool draft can cause your heater to cycle more often than is necessary.

A Poorly Insulated Home

Sometimes the problem doesn’t actually lie within your heating and cooling system, but rather in the insulation of your home. You may notice that our heater is working extra hard if you have gaps between doors and frames, cracked caulking around windows, or thin, older windows. A poorly insulated attic can also allow a lot of heat to escape.

If this is the case, weather stripping, window insulation tape, caulk, and potentially some blow in insulation can solve the problem and likely save you a lot of money in the long haul.

It Is Extremely Cold Outside

Always remember that your furnace isn’t a superhero. During the coldest of cold snaps during the winter, it is going to have to work hard to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. When the daily high barely reaches the single digits, you can count on your furnace doing some overtime, and likely have nothing to be alarmed about unless the frequent cycling trend continues once the weather returns to normal.

Contact GMG HVAC For Professional Furnace Maintenance and Repair

If you have questions about your heater or need an expert furnace repair team to investigate over cycling or short cycling, call GMG HVAC in Bethpage today. Our friendly, expert HVAC technicians will be happy to help.