3 Tell Tale Signs That Your Furnace Is Short-Cycling

Oct 29, 2022

3 Tell Tale Signs That Your Furnace Is Short-Cycling

3 Tell Tale Signs That Your Furnace Is Short-Cycling ?

Requests for furnace maintenance in Toronto are considerably higher during the winter season, especially since heating problems during this time can put homeowners at risk of illness and houses prone to damage. Like any appliance, it’s not uncommon for your HVAC system to overheat, especially if you’re using it during harsh climates. This is why you must know if your heating systems are showing signs of deterioration.

Assessing your furnace for short-cycling damage

Short-cycling is a common condition for HVAC systems where your furnace unexpectedly turns on and off frequently. This is a symptom of severe damage in your heating system, which can range from miscalibrated thermostats to low refrigerant charge. It also happens more regularly when outdoor climates are too cold, causing your filters to freeze and other mechanical components.

If you want to avoid expensive furnace repairs, here are three tell-tale signs that your furnace is short-cycling:

1. Furnace shutting down without reaching full cycles

A common sign of short-cycling is when your furnace shuts off immediately after starting. It’s a defence mechanism that prevents your HVAC systems from overheating if it detects overuse. The system closes down when your furnace’s heat exchanger catches a high level of heat. If this happens even without prolonged use of your furnace, you may have an issue with your furnace that needs a more in-depth inspection.

2. Odd noises from your furnace

Hearing odd noises from your HVAC system can be a sign of different damages. This usually points to damage in various components that can cause a decrease in performance or inability to turn off or on. However, there is one particular sound that needs your immediate attention. A loud humming sound is an indicator of an overheating motor.

Overheating motors usually happen because of one of two reasons: dirty air filters or poor air circulation. Your HVAC system’s air filter could be clogged with soils, dust, and other blockages. This forces your furnace to overwork itself to deliver the minimal temperature output but with more stress to its components. It will then cause the motor to burn and break.

Another potential reason is when you don’t have enough air circulation in your homes. Most homeowners shut down their air vents when not in use. However, this leads to overworking your HVAC system with more energy. Since there’s poor airflow, you may cause your furnace to experience short cycling when it believes that it’s not heating your home properly.

3. Burning smell from the furnace

When starting your furnace for the first time, it’s not uncommon to smell a prevailing burning odour for half an hour at most. It’s a sign that your HVAC system is burning dust and debris by not being in use for the past few months. You can avoid burnt scent if you ask a professional HVAC technician to clean it before the winter season.

However, if the smell doesn’t go away after starting your furnace, your home may be at risk for a severe fire hazard. Shut off your furnace immediately and try to detect the source of the smell. It could be a symptom of broken components or wear and tear from unchecked damage.


Although water and electricity are essential needs in life, you shouldn’t undermine a working heating system’s value. Your HVAC protects you from harsh temperatures that can give you illnesses during the winter season. If you want to brace for winter, you should consult with HVAC technicians if you start seeing signs of damage to your heating system.

If you’re looking for a reliable HVAC service, Temp-A-Sure provides the
best furnace repair in Toronto . Get in touch with our HVAC technicians, and we’ll resolve your heating concerns.