Using a smart thermostat isn’t just smart for saving on heating expenses. It can also alert you if there’s an issue with your furnace.
The Google Nest has a feature called Furnace Heads Up, which will alert you if it detects an issue with your heating system. You’ll see the alert on the thermostat, in the app and in your monthly Nest Home report.
One of the most typical problems 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 see the message “Nest noticed that your furnace shuts down within 15 minutes of heating,” that means your furnace is short cycling. Short cycling is when the furnace turns 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 increase your energy bill. It can also increase deterioration on your furnace. It may also be more susceptible to breaking down and may even need to be replaced sooner.
Without Furnace Heads Up, you might not detect your furnace is turning on and off often, since its blower fan might keep going. This feature can pick up on power interruptions that occur during short cycling.
How Do I Keep My Furnace from Short Cycling?
There are a few easy ways you can keep your furnace from short cycling.
Change Your Air Filter Regularly
If your air filter is too dirty, it will restrict airflow. Your furnace will then shut off prematurely to prevent overheating. We encourage replacing flat filters once a 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 changed your filter after getting a Furnace Heads Up alert, you can do a test to see if that fixes the problem.
- Push the ring to pull up the Quick View menu, where you’ll select "settings" and then "equipment."
- The thermostat will display the wires connected to it. Select "continue."
- You’ll see system components displayed. Hit "test."
- Select "Furnace Heads Up" and follow the instructions. Your furnace will go through 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 pass the test, something else could be wrong that requires professional assistance. If this happens, call Barlow Service Experts at 801-436-8985 for furnace repair.
Clean or Replace Your Furnace’s Flame Sensor
Having a dirty or bad flame sensor is another top reason why your furnace might short cycle. You can tell if there’s a problem by paying attention to your furnace as it starts up. 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 have to remove the door for this.
- Switch on the furnace by setting the thermostat to a warmer indoor temperature.
- When you switch on the heat, the fan will turn on 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 warm enough, the gas will switch on and the burners will light.
- If the flame sensor can’t sense a flame, it’s usually due to the fact it’s dirty or faulty. Your furnace will then turn off as a safety measure. If your furnace is short cycling, you'll notice the flame and fan shutting down after a few seconds.
If you’re wondering how flame sensors could get dirty being bathed in fire constantly, a combination of moisture and chemicals in the air form a thin coating of carbon on the surface. Cleaning a dirty flame sensor will stop the short cycling issue. This task is best left to an Expert. That's due to the fact an HVAC professional like Barlow Service Experts will be able to clean it without breaking it or be able to tell you if you need a new one.
Check Your Furnace’s Exhaust Pipe Often
Your high-efficiency furnace vents combustion gases outside through a PVC pipe. This pipe can get clogged by snow or bird nests, so you’ll want to make sure it’s always clear. If the pipe gets plugged, it can cause your furnace to overheat. It could also result in carbon monoxide flowing back into your home, creating a potentially fatal situation.
However, modern furnaces are equipped with a pressure switch that generally will stop these situations from happening. Families 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 can be reached by tiny hands. Even this little amount is enough to trigger the pressure switch. The irregular flow of air into and out of the system trips 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 specifying the pressure switch was tripped.
An Expert HVAC technician from Barlow Service Experts can look up the codes for you and determine the problem. Unfortunately, Nest has not evolved to the point where it can read the error codes furnace manufacturers create, so you will still require a pro to assist you.
Let the Experts Handle Your Short Cycling Furnace
If you get the message, “Nest noticed that your furnace shuts down within 15 minutes of heating,” you know what to do. At Barlow Service Experts, our Experts have the expertise to fix 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, contact us at 801-436-8985 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.