Using a smart thermostat isn’t just smart for saving on heating costs. It can also alert you if there’s an issue with your furnace.
The Google Nest is equipped with a function called Furnace Heads Up, which will let you know 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 issues 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 turns on for a brief period of time then switches off. This HVAC game of red light, green light stops your home from heating up 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 more quickly.
Without Furnace Heads Up, you might not detect your furnace is turning on and off often, since its blower fan might keep running. This feature can recognize power interruptions that happen 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 Regularly
If your air filter is too dirty, it will restrict airflow. Your furnace will then shut down prematurely to avoid overheating. We recommend changing flat filters every month, and pleated filters every three months. It’s easy to stay on top of replacing 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 repairs the problem.
- Press the ring to pull up the Quick View menu, where you’ll select "settings" and then "equipment."
- The thermostat will display 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 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 pass the test, something else could be awry that needs professional help. If this happens, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at 330-305-2799 for furnace repair.
Clean or Replace Your Furnace’s Flame Sensor
Having a dirty or malfunctioning 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 turns on. 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 need to remove the door for this.
- Turn on the furnace by setting the thermostat to a warmer indoor temperature.
- When you turn on the heat, the fan will begin running first. You should notice 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 ignite.
- If the flame sensor can’t sense a flame, it’s usually because it’s dirty or defective. Your furnace will then shut off as a safety measure. If your furnace is short cycling, you'll notice 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 layer of carbon on the surface. Cleaning a dirty flame sensor will end the short cycling problem. This task 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 damaging 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 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 result in carbon monoxide flowing back into your home, creating a potentially deadly situation.
However, modern furnaces have a pressure switch that typically will prevent these situations from happening. Households 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 tiny 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 indicating the pressure switch was triggered.
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 developed to the point where it can interpret the error codes furnace manufacturers create, so you will still need a pro to help you out.
Let the Experts Handle 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 stand behind our repairs with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee for one year.* To book your appointment, call us at 330-305-2799 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.