Having a smart thermostat isn’t just wise for spending less on heating expenses. It can also let you know if there’s an issue with your furnace.
The Google Nest is equipped with a function 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 frequent 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 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 turns on for a brief period of time then switches off. This HVAC game of red light, green light prevents your home from being warm and can drive up your energy bill. It can also increase wear and tear on your furnace. It may also be more susceptible to breaking down and may even need to be replaced more quickly.
Without Furnace Heads Up, you might not detect your furnace is turning on and off frequently, since its blower fan might keep running. This feature can recognize power interruptions that occur during short cycling.
How Do I Keep My Furnace from Short Cycling?
There are a few simple ways you can keep 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 prematurely to avoid overheating. We recommend changing flat filters every month, and pleated filters every three months. It’s simple to stay on top of replacing your filter by adding a Filter Reminder on your thermostat.
If you’ve changed your filter after receiving a Furnace Heads Up alert, you can do a test to see if that fixes the problem.
- Press 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. Select "continue."
- You’ll see system components displayed. Select "test."
- Select "Furnace Heads Up" and follow the instructions. Your furnace will go through a 15-minute heating check and tell 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 awry that needs professional assistance. If this happens, contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at 587-404-0790 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 might short cycle. You can tell 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 look at 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 higher indoor temperature.
- When you switch 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 warm enough, the gas will turn 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 defective. Your furnace will then shut off as a safety precaution. If your furnace is short cycling, you'll notice the flame and fan shutting down after a couple of seconds.
If you’re questioning 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 end the short cycling issue. This job is best left to an Expert. That's because 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 you need a new one.
Check Your Furnace’s Exhaust Pipe Frequently
Your high-efficiency furnace exhausts 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 blocked, 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 typically will stop these situations from occurring. Families with young children will often find their kids have jammed toy cars, sticks or nuts into the exhaust if it’s in an area that can be reached by tiny hands. Even this little amount is enough to trip the pressure switch. The irregular flow of air into and out of the system trips the pressure switch, which shuts off 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 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 read the error codes furnace manufacturers produce, so you will still need a pro to help you out.
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 Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, our Experts have the expertise 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, contact us at 587-404-0790 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.