Why Does Your Furnace Turn On And Off After A Few Minutes?

In the HVAC industry, short cycling refers to a furnace repeatedly turning on and off. It is exactly as it sounds. Something interrupts the furnace cycle, or the routine your heating follows to keep your home at the proper temperature.

Many people confuse short cycling with the average function of a furnace. A furnace is designed to turn off and on repeatedly, but how many times and for how long depends on your heating, home scenario, weather, and so on.

A furnace will typically run three to eight heating cycles per hour. A typical heating cycle lasts between 10-15 minutes. If your Heating shuts down after a few minutes and restarts over eight times per hour, it may need to be repaired.

How To Know If My Furnace Is Short Cycling?

The most common causes of short furnace cycling are restricted airflow, a faulty flame sensor, or a poorly placed thermostat. Now let us look at other causes as well:

  • Faulty Thermostat: The thermostat is in charge of your whole heating system. So, if your furnace frequently turns off and on, your thermostat may malfunction or break. Several factors could be causing your thermostat to malfunction. The wiring might be old and need replacement, or it could be the location of your thermostat.

    The location of your thermostat may contribute to your furnace’s short cycling contributing to the short cycling of your furnace. It may cause problems if it is not in a location representing the temperature in the rest of your residence. Your thermostat should be located in an area where your entire family spends time. Avoid placing it in a hallway, near a heat source (such as a fireplace), near doors and windows, or against an exterior wall.

    If you need to relocate your thermostat, follow the directions that came with it. It is always better to seek advice from our expert HVAC technician for heating replacement in Diamond Springs, CA.

  • Restricted Airflow: Blocked vents or a clogged air filter can cause your furnace to start and then shut down prematurely. These issues are simple to fix on your own. You should change your heating filter at least every three months. Check your vents if a new filter does not stop the short cycling. Your vent louvers should be set to open. Remove any furniture, clothing piles, or other residential clutter covering them.
  • Issues with Flame Sensor: If your furnace frequently shuts down, you may have a corroded or dirty flame sensor. A flame sensor notifies your system of the presence of a flame whenever the gas valve is open. If there is no flame, the sensor will close the gas valve to prevent gas from entering your home. If the flame sensor is dirty or corroded, the flame will not register and will turn off the gas valve, causing your system to shut down. You should contact our professional to have this checked, particularly if your furnace is cycling off and on too frequently.


If you have issues like short cycling and are searching online for ‘furnace replacement near me‘, then contact an Essential Air Heating and Air Conditioning specialist for heating replacement in Diamond Springs, CA. You can call us at (530)-296-1025.