What Causes Short Cycling?

When the furnace starts and stops frequently, it is call short cycling. This decreases the furnace’s efficiency and could be a sign of a serious furnace issue. However, the most common source of short cycling is a clogged air filter. Check the filter first, replacing it if necessary. If that doesn’t stop the short cycling, it could be one of the following problems causing it:

  1. Thermostat Location

If the thermostat has been poorly located, it can cause short cycling to occur. It should be placed away from drafts, effects of windows and air vents. To see if this is the issue, place something in front of the thermostat like a piece of cardboard. If the short cycling stops, it needs to be moved to a new location.

  1. Overheating

Many modern furnaces have a safety device that switches the burner off if the heat exchanger starts to overheat. This can also cause short cycling. If the heat exchanger is overheating, there’s a possibility of it being cracked, which should be repaired right away.

  1. Improper Furnace Size

Furnaces that are the wrong size for the home will short cycle trying to keep up with the desired temperature. To correct this issue, it will require a new system to be put in place that is the correct size. While expensive, it will save homeowners money on energy bills and keep the home at a more comfortable temperature.

Don’t live with a short cycling furnace. It could be increasing energy bills and not achieving the desired temperature. Continuing to let it short cycle could lead to lasting HVAC damage as well. Call Diamond Heating and Cooling if the furnace starts short cycling this fall and winter.

Also, be sure to schedule annual furnace maintenance. Check out Diamond’s Silver Club Membership and learn how to save on all things HVAC.

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5 Signs of a Cracked Heat Exchanger

Cracked Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger in the furnace has two jobs: work with the burner to generate heat and separate toxic byproducts of combustion and vent them out. When it becomes cracked or damaged, it fails to perform these jobs, which can be dangerous to those who live in the home.

Knowing there’s a cracked heat exchanger can be difficult, but there are some signs homeowners can keep an eye out for.

  1. Difference in Flame

A normal flame in the furnace will be steady burning and blue in color. A damaged heat exchanger can make the flame dance around and be more orange or yellow in color. If this is observed, call Diamond Heating and Cooling right away.

  1. Metal Cracks

With a damaged heat exchanger, cracks can appear in the metal. While a flashlight can detect larger cracks, it is best to have a professional inspect the metal with proper equipment. It could also have excess corrosion or rust developing on the unit.

  1. Soot Buildup

If the furnace is working properly, there shouldn’t be any soot on or around the furnace’s cabinet. If it begins to build up and discolor the metal, there’s a chance the heat exchanger is cracked.

  1. Odor

In some instances, a damaged heat exchanger will manifest itself in a strong, unpleasant odor similar to the smell of formaldehyde. It can cause headaches, and is a good indication there is something wrong in the furnace.

  1. Carbon Monoxide Presence

A damaged heat exchanger leaks carbon monoxide, which is a byproduct of the combustion process. If the carbon monoxide detector in the home goes off, the heat exchanger might be broken. Call for help immediately and evacuate the home.

Call Diamond Heating and Cooling at 208-378-6624 if any of the five signs listed above are noticed. Whether the furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, or another problem, Diamond Heating and Cooling can make the necessary repairs.

Failing Heat Exchanger

With Boise and the Treasure Valley in the fall season, and winter right around the corner, homeowners need to be aware of how their HVAC system is performing so that it doesn’t break down and leave them in the cold this winter. A common failure experienced with these systems in the fall and winter is the breakdown of the heat exchanger due to thermal fatigue.

When metals are heated and cooled repeatedly in a heater exchanger, it can weaken the metal over time and create a crack. This will create failure in the HVAC system over time no matter what, but the degree to which the metal in the heat exchanger is subjected to thermal fatigue can be dependent on a few factors, such as:

  • How often the metal is heated and cooled
  • How quickly the temperature changes
  • The composition of the metal

If a crack in the heat exchanger is not discovered in a timely manner, toxic fumes like carbon monoxide can leak out into the air and can lead to illness and even death. To protect your home and family it’s a good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors.

All HVAC heat exchangers will eventually endure thermal fatigue and need to be replaced. However, with proper maintenance they can last quite a long time.

When Diamond Heating and Cooling completes the annual furnace maintenance for their customers, one of the first components they examine is the heat exchanger. Since it is something that can commonly fail and bring harm to the household if undetected, they want to check it and ensure household safety. Diamond Heating and Cooling also provides free second opinions for those who have been told they have a crack in their heat exchanger.

Now’s the time to get the furnace inspected and serviced. Talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling about their Silver Club Membership too. It’s a cost-effective way to ensure the HVAC system gets serviced twice a year. Visit the Diamond Heating and Cooling website to learn more.