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Red Deers #1 Furnace Repair & Service

Why is My Furnace Constantly Running?

Is something chasing it? Sorry, bad joke, couldn’t resist. I promise the rest is informational. Furnaces cycle on and off to maintain the temperature in your home. A furnace that is continuously running usually isn’t, it’s actually turning off and on every couple of minutes instead of the usual three to eight times an hour. This makes it seem like it is running constantly. The official term for this is short cycling. 

When it’s cold outside, your furnace will run more often but it should never be running non-stop or short cycling. You definitely want to solve this issue. Constant running and short cycling is hard on your furnace and could lead to a shortened lifespan.

Several reasons could make your furnace run for its life. 

Furnace Replacement Service, HVAC, heating, broken furnace replacement in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer Alberta

Check the wiring. If it’s frayed or has come loose, repair the wiring. When your thermostat can’t properly communicate with your furnace, it can cause your furnace to act oddly.

Is it set correctly? Try this, set your thermostat a few degrees lower than your current room temperature. If the furnace stops running (this may take a few minutes if it’s in the middle of a cycle), it means your temperature was set too high and your poor furnace was working hard to reach the temperature. This could happen during a Red Deer cold snap. But if this is still a problem even when it isn’t minus a kagillion out, it could be a couple of things. One, your house isn’t properly weatherized allowing cold air to sneak in and your toasty air to escape. Two, it could be a problem with your furnace. A professional can help you determine the problem. 

Dirty filters

Dirty filters impede proper air flow through the furnace and can cause it to overheat. A safety feature is then triggered, stopping your furnace before your house has reached its desired temperature. Once it cools down it starts up again, overheats, shuts down and continues this cycle. Change your filters every three months, more often if they are really dirty and/or you have pets. 


Inadequate, leaking and/or damaged ducts can create short cycling because they restrict air flow and cause the same overheating cycle as dirty filters. 

Furnace Fan Setting

Make sure it is set to AUTO, not ON. If it’s set to ON, there’s your problem. In the ON setting your fan will run all. the. time. 

Furnace fan limit switch

If the fan limit switch is set to manual override or it is faulty, this could be the source of your problem. This switch is located right under your furnace hood and controls your furnace blower. 

Old Age

Like most things, as furnaces get older they get cranky and don’t work efficiently (or at all).

A constantly running or short cycling furnace is not only annoying, it’s something you need to fix. Not only for your sanity, but because it increases your energy usage, your utility bill, the wear and tear on your furnace, and can reduce your furnace’s lifespan. Please contact a professional to help you determine and correct the problem. Then schedule regular furnace maintenance to limit future repairs. 

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