Using a smart thermostat isn’t just smart for spending less on heating costs. It can also alert you if there’s a problem with your furnace.
The Google Nest has a function called Furnace Heads Up, which will alert you if it detects a problem with your heating system. You’ll see the warning on the thermostat, in the app and in your monthly Nest Home report.
One of the most typical issues is: “Nest noticed that your furnace shuts down within 15 minutes of heating.” Here’s what's doing on and how you can correct it.
Your Furnace is Short Cycling
When you get the message “Nest noticed that your furnace shuts down within 15 minutes of heating,” it's saying your furnace is short cycling. Short cycling is when the furnace switches on for a short period of time then switches off. This HVAC game of red light, green light stops your home from heating up and can drive up your energy bill. It can also increase wear and tear on your furnace. It may also be more likely to break down and may even require replacement sooner.
Without Furnace Heads Up, you might not notice your furnace is turning on and off often, since its blower fan might keep going. This feature can pick up on power interruptions that take place during short cycling.
How Do I Keep My Furnace from Short Cycling?
There are a few easy ways you can prevent your furnace from short cycling.
Replace Your Air Filter Often
If your air filter is too dirty, it will restrict airflow. Your furnace will then shut off early to avoid overheating. We encourage replacing flat filters every month, and pleated filters every three months. It’s simple to stay on top of changing your filter by adding a Filter Reminder on your thermostat.
If you’ve replaced your filter after getting a Furnace Heads Up alert, you can do a test to see if that repairs the problem.
- Push the ring to pull up the Quick View menu, where you’ll select "settings" and then "equipment."
- The thermostat will show the wires connected to it. Choose "continue."
- You’ll see system components shown. Select "test."
- Choose "Furnace Heads Up" and follow the instructions. Your furnace will run a 15-minute heating check and give you the results when it’s done.
Google says if the filter is clean or if your furnace didn’t clear the test, something else could be wrong that needs professional help. If this happens, contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at 305-440-1505 for furnace repair.
Clean or Replace Your Furnace’s Flame Sensor
Having a dirty or bad flame sensor is another top explanation why your furnace is short cycling. You can tell if there’s a problem by paying attention to your furnace as it turns on. Here’s what to check for.
- Take off the door from your furnace so you can see the burners. If you have a viewport in the furnace door, you may not need to remove the door for this.
- Turn on the furnace by setting the thermostat to a higher indoor temperature.
- When you turn on the heat, the fan will begin running first. You should hear it turn on.
- The ignitor will begin to glow. The ignitor is either on the left or right of the burners, but it varies according to the furnace model.
- Once the ignitor is hot enough, the gas will turn on and the burners will light.
- If the flame sensor can’t detect a flame, it’s usually due to the fact it’s dirty or faulty. Your furnace will then shut off as a safety measure. If your furnace is short cycling, you'll notice the flame and fan shutting off after a few seconds.
If you’re questioning how flame sensors could get dirty being bathed in fire constantly, a blend of moisture and chemicals in the air form a thin coating of carbon on the surface. Cleaning a dirty flame sensor will end the short cycling issue. This job is best left to an Expert. That's due to the fact an HVAC professional like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning will be able to clean it without damaging it or be able to tell you if it needs to be replaced.
Check Your Furnace’s Exhaust Pipe Frequently
Your high-efficiency furnace exhausts combustion gases outside through a PVC pipe. This pipe can get blocked by snow or bird nests, so you’ll want to make sure it’s always clear. If the pipe gets clogged, it can result in your furnace overheating. It could also cause carbon monoxide to flow back into your home, creating a potentially fatal situation.
However, modern furnaces are equipped with a pressure switch that generally will prevent these situations from occurring. Households with small children will often find their kids have stuffed toy cars, sticks or nuts into the exhaust if it’s in a location that's accessible by little hands. Even this small amount is enough to trigger the pressure switch. The irregular flow of air into and out of the system triggers the pressure switch, which shuts down the burners. If this is the root of your problem, you will experience short cycling and a furnace error code indicating the pressure switch was triggered.
An Expert HVAC technician from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can look up the codes for you and diagnose the problem. Unfortunately, Nest has not evolved to the point where it can interpret the error codes furnace manufacturers produce, so you will still require a pro to assist you.
Let the Experts Handle Your Short Cycling Furnace
If you receive the message, “Nest noticed that your furnace shuts down within 15 minutes of heating,” you know what to do. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, our Experts have the knowledge to resolve any furnace problem quickly and affordably. What’s even better is that we stand behind our repairs with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee for one year.* To request your appointment, call us at 305-440-1505 or schedule online.
*Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.