Using a smart thermostat isn’t just smart for spending less on heating costs. 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 let you know if it senses 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 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 short period of time then switches off. This HVAC game of red light, green light stops your home from being warm and can drive up your energy bill. It can also increase deterioration on your furnace. It may also be more susceptible to breaking 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 running. 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 simple ways you can keep your furnace from short cycling.
Change Your Air Filter Often
If your air filter is too dirty, it will limit airflow. Your furnace will then shut off early to prevent 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 replaced 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 choose "settings" and then "equipment."
- The thermostat will show the wires linked to it. Choose "continue."
- You’ll see system components shown. Hit "test."
- Select "Furnace Heads Up" and follow the instructions. Your furnace will run a 15-minute heating test and give 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 needs professional assistance. If this happens, contact Peitz Service Experts at 605-223-0307 for furnace repair.
Clean or Replace Your Furnace’s Flame Sensor
Having a dirty or malfunctioning 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 turns on. Here’s what to check for.
- Remove 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.
- Switch 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 notice it turn on.
- The ignitor will start to glow. The ignitor is either on the left or right of the burners, but it depends on the furnace model.
- Once the ignitor is hot 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 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 wondering how flame sensors could get dirty being bathed in fire continuously, a combination of moisture and chemicals in the air form a thin layer 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 Peitz Service Experts 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 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 ensure that 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 deadly situation.
However, modern furnaces are equipped with a pressure switch that generally will prevent these situations from happening. Families with young children will often find their kids have stuffed toy cars, sticks or nuts into the exhaust if it’s in an area that can be reached by little hands. Even this small amount is enough to trip the pressure switch. The uneven flow of air into and out of the system trips the pressure switch, which shuts down the burners. If this is the underlying cause of your problem, you will encounter short cycling and a furnace error code indicating the pressure switch was triggered.
An Expert HVAC technician from Peitz Service Experts can look up the codes for you and determine the problem. Unfortunately, Nest has not evolved to the point where it can interpret the error codes furnace manufacturers create, so you will still require a pro to assist you.
Let the Experts Solve 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 Peitz Service Experts, our Experts have the knowledge 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 book your appointment, call us at 605-223-0307 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.