How Often Should My Furnace Cycle?
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How Often Should My Furnace Cycle?


The coldest days of winter can put a strain on your furnace. While your unit may normally cycle on and off a few times every hour, you may also notice your furnace cycling more frequently when the temperature drops.

While cycling is normal, frequent cycling can indicate that your furnace is struggling to keep up. We’ve put together this guide to help you understand the difference between normal furnace cycling and short cycling.

How Many Times Does a Furnace Cycle Per Hour?

In general, a working furnace can kick on anywhere from 3 to 8 times each hour. However, this number will vary greatly depending on certain factors like the insulation in your home, the size of your home, and the outside temperature.

If your furnace is cycling on and off every few minutes, this is known as short cycling. Short cycling typically indicates something is wrong with your furnace. The problem can be anything from a dirty air filter to a broken motor. It’s best to get these issues looked at by a furnace specialist as soon as possible.

How Long Should A Furnace Run in Cold Weather?

A typical furnace run time is between 10 and 15 minutes. Although some furnaces may run for as long as 20 minutes at a time. If you notice your furnace running for longer than 20 minutes each cycle, this is a sign it’s working overtime to heat your home.

Furnaces that cycle for extended periods of time run the risk of overheating or wearing out more quickly than anticipated. If your furnace is cycling for long periods of time, it’s time to call an HVAC professional for an inspection.

What to Do if My Furnace is Short Cycling When It’s Cold Out?

Your furnace may be short cycling for a number of reasons, but the best way to diagnose the issue is to call an HVAC technician for repairs.

During your inspection, the technician will change your air filter, clean the furnace’s flame sensor, and ensure there’s nothing blocking the exhaust vent. If these preliminary steps don’t fix the problem, they’ll inspect your thermostat as well as the internal components of your furnace to see what might be causing the problem.

In some cases, your furnace may simply be too old or the wrong size for your home. If this is the case, your HVAC specialist can make recommendations for a replacement that will fit your budget and the needs of your home.

Schedule Portland, OR Furnace Repairs

When you need furnace repairs, trust the experts at Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing, Electrical, Drain Services. Our technicians have the experience necessary to accurately diagnose your furnace and make effective, long-lasting repairs. We’re the top choice for furnace repair in Portland, Oregon City, Salem, and the surrounding areas.

Call us today at (503) 266-1249 to schedule repair service.

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