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What Should I Do If My Furnace Cycles On and Off Constantly?

Arianne Large - Thursday, December 03, 2015
Residential Gas Furnace

Maintenance agreements for your heating and cooling system can do many things, like preventing breakdowns. There are a number of common issues that can arise, especially during the winter heating season. For instance, if your furnace is switching on and off constantly, what should you do?

Here are some reasons why that might happen and how having a maintenance agreement in place could help:

Dirty Filters

When your air filter is dirty it prevents efficient airflow to and from your furnace. When the air can’t pass through it can get backed up in the furnace, which then gets the incorrect signal that the desired temperature has been reached and it shuts off too soon. When this happens, you home is still cooler than the set temperature, so the system turns back on again.

This cycle happens over and over, which may be why your furnace is turning on and off constantly. As part of your maintenance agreement, your filters are changed so the airflow is effective and efficient. However, in between maintenance appointments, the filters need to be changed every month.


If your thermostat is set properly but the furnace keeps turning on and off consistently, it could be that it isn’t properly calibrated or there are other electrical issues. Thermostats get bumped, changed, and sometimes just get old. During your seasonal maintenance, the thermostats are routinely checked to be sure they’re functioning properly and calibrated correctly.

There are other issues that can cause your furnace to short cycle, including a corroded flame sensor or an improperly sized unit. Whatever the cause, failures can potentially be avoided altogether with regular maintenance. The technician is careful to clean, inspect, calibrate, and adjust your heating system to help prevent some of these disruptive breakdowns.

To find out about the best maintenance agreement for your home furnace, contact our team at Helms Heating and Air Conditioning by calling 704-821-6255.