Having a smart thermostat isn’t just wise for saving on heating expenses. It can also alert you if there’s an issue with your furnace.
The Google Nest is equipped with a feature called Furnace Heads Up, which will alert you if it detects a problem 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 fix 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 switches on for a short period of time then turns off. This HVAC game of red light, green light prevents 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 frequently, because 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 simple ways you can prevent your furnace from short cycling.
Change 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 changing flat filters once a month, and pleated filters every three months. It’s simple to stay on top of changing your filter by setting up a Filter Reminder on your thermostat.
If you’ve changed your filter after receiving a Furnace Heads Up alert, you can run a test to see if that fixes the problem.
- Push the ring to bring 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."
- Select "Furnace Heads Up" and follow the instructions. Your furnace will run a 15-minute heating test and tell you the results when it’s finished.
Google says if the filter is clean or if your furnace didn’t clear the test, something else could be wrong that requires professional assistance. If this happens, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at 561-629-1826 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 is short cycling. You can determine if there’s a problem by watching 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.
- Turn on the furnace by setting the thermostat to a warmer indoor temperature.
- When you switch on the heat, the fan will begin running first. You should hear it turn on.
- The ignitor will start 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 turn on and the burners will ignite.
- If the flame sensor can’t sense a flame, it’s usually due to the fact it’s dirty or defective. Your furnace will then shut off as a safety measure. If your furnace is short cycling, you'll observe the flame and fan shutting off after a couple of 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 problem. 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 breaking it or be able to tell you if it needs to be replaced.
Check Your Furnace’s Exhaust Pipe Frequently
Your high-efficiency furnace vents combustion gases outdoors 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 plugged, it can result in your furnace overheating. It could also cause carbon monoxide to flow back into your home, creating a potentially life-threatening situation.
However, modern furnaces are equipped with a pressure switch that generally will stop these situations from happening. 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 little amount is enough to trip the pressure switch. The uneven flow of air into and out of the system triggers the pressure switch, which shuts down the burners. If this is the underlying cause of your problem, you will experience short cycling and a furnace error code specifying the pressure switch was tripped.
An Expert HVAC technician from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can check 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 need a pro to help you out.
Let the Experts Solve 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 expertise to fix any furnace problem quickly and affordably. What’s even better is that we back our repairs with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee for one year.* To book your appointment, contact us at 561-629-1826 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.