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Heating cycles that are too short or too long might be a sign that there’s an issue with your furnace. Left unattended, frequent short or long heating cycles can increase your heating bills, along with wear and tear on the furnace’s sensitive components. However, keep in mind that there are several external factors, like outdoor temperatures and thermostat settings, that can affect the length of heating cycles.

Normal Furnace Heating Cycle

The Average Runtime for Furnaces  

HVAC maintenance companies explain that a furnace will normally perform an average of two to three cycles in an hour, with each cycle lasting 10 to 15 minutes. But to keep temperatures at a comfortable level during cold weather, a furnace might need to increase this range to three to 10 cycles. As such, short or long heating cycles, especially when temperatures are cold, aren’t necessarily a cause for concern. However, if they persist even in mild weather conditions, an internal issue might be to blame.

Internal Factors Affecting Heating Cycles 

Here are some internal issues that can lengthen or shorten furnace heating cycles:

  • Faulty thermostat – The furnace might turn itself off early or run longer than necessary if the thermostat isn’t accurately measuring indoor temperatures.

  • Poor air duct design and dirty filters – Obstructed airflow caused by poorly-designed air ducts or a dirty filter can cause your furnace to overheat, which will in turn result in it shutting off early.

  • Excess heating capacity – As the name suggests, a furnace’s heating capacity indicates the amount of heat it can produce in a single heating cycle. If your furnace has too much heating capacity, the furnace might be forced to shut down to protect its sensitive components from overheating.

The only way to determine the root cause of unusually short or long heating cycles is to have a home heating repair technician conduct a comprehensive furnace or HVAC inspection.

Are you looking for HVAC technicians in your area?

Stone Heating and Air offers a wide range of professional HVAC services, including furnace repair and duct cleaning services. To schedule an appointment, call us at (541) 855-5521 or fill out this form.