Having a smart thermostat isn’t just wise for saving on heating expenses. It can also let you know if there’s a problem with your furnace.
The Google Nest has a function called Furnace Heads Up, which will let you know if it detects a problem with your heating system. You’ll see the warning 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 get 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 short period of time then turns 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 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 detect your furnace is turning on and off frequently, because its blower fan might keep going. This feature can detect power interruptions that happen 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.
Replace Your Air Filter Often
If your air filter is too dirty, it will limit airflow. Your furnace will then shut down early to avoid overheating. We recommend changing flat filters once a month, and pleated filters every three months. It’s simple to stay on top of replacing your filter by setting up a Filter Reminder on your thermostat.
If you’ve changed your filter after getting a Furnace Heads Up alert, you can run 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 connected 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 check and give you the results when it’s finished.
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, contact Orangutan Home Services at 602-906-0111 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 determine if there’s a problem by paying attention to your furnace as it turns on. Here’s what to look 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.
- Turn on the furnace by setting the thermostat to a higher indoor temperature.
- When you switch on the heat, the fan will turn on 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 depends on the furnace model.
- Once the ignitor is hot enough, the gas will turn on and the burners will light.
- If the flame sensor can’t detect 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 observe the flame and fan shutting off after a couple of seconds.
If you’re wondering 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 issue. This task is best left to an Expert. That's because an HVAC professional like Orangutan Home Services will be able to clean it without damaging it or be able to tell you if you need a new one.
Check Your Furnace’s Exhaust Pipe Often
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 plugged, it can result in your furnace overheating. It could also result in carbon monoxide flowing back into your home, creating a potentially fatal situation.
However, modern furnaces have a pressure switch that generally will prevent these situations from occurring. Families with small children will often find their kids have stuffed toy cars, sticks or nuts into the exhaust if it’s in an area that's accessible by tiny hands. Even this little amount is enough to trigger the pressure switch. The irregular flow of air into and out of the system triggers 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 indicating the pressure switch was tripped.
An Expert HVAC technician from Orangutan Home Services can check the codes for you and determine the problem. Unfortunately, Nest has not developed to the point where it can read the error codes furnace manufacturers produce, so you will still require 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 Orangutan Home Services, 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 602-906-0111 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.