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Old 01-14-2009, 07:50 AM   #1
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Furnace goes on and off a lot.


We have a townhouse, high ceilings and it gets cold. We have the heat set on 72 in the daytime and 70 at night. Now that its been getting colder (were in Chicago), I notice the furnace will go on, stay on for about 7-10 minutes, go off and then go back on like 3 minutes later.

The furnace is 7 years old, I had to replace the ignitor last winter.

We replaced the thermostat about 8 months ago, so I don't know what the deal is here.. Any thoughts? Is this normal or is there something wrong?

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Last edited by mterracciano; 01-14-2009 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:04 AM   #2
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Furnace goes on and off a lot.


Did you adjust the swing on the thermostat? Look in the manual and it should explain how to do it.

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Old 01-14-2009, 08:08 AM   #3
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Furnace goes on and off a lot.


Oh, gosh..I wouldn't even know where to look for the manual. It's a bottom of the line programmable thermostat, paid like $25 for it.

What exactly is the swing? Is that the number of degrees before it goes back on again? Like if I have it at 72, I could live with the temperature as 68 before it kicks back on and goes to 72. I think what it's doing now is it'll be 72 and then kick back on once it goes below 72. Is that what the swing is?
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:13 AM   #4
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Furnace goes on and off a lot.


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Originally Posted by mterracciano View Post
Oh, gosh..I wouldn't even know where to look for the manual. It's a bottom of the line programmable thermostat, paid like $25 for it.

What exactly is the swing? Is that the number of degrees before it goes back on again? Like if I have it at 72, I could live with the temperature as 68 before it kicks back on and goes to 72. I think what it's doing now is it'll be 72 and then kick back on once it goes below 72. Is that what the swing is?
Get the model number and search online. Most companies have the manuals online. Yes, the swing is the temperature differential between the on and off cycles. There's a few HVAC guys on here so you should get some good advice on how to set it if they respond. I think I have heard that 4-5 cycles per hour is the best setting. One more thing, have you checked your furnace filter lately? I believe a dirty filter can cause short cycling.

Last edited by jerryh3; 01-14-2009 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:15 AM   #5
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Furnace goes on and off a lot.


Yeah, I actually just checked online. The swing is fixed and can't be adjusted. Time to shell out some $ and get a new thermostat.

I'm just worried I'll have to replace the ignitor again, that's what I'm trying to avoid.
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:55 AM   #6
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Furnace goes on and off a lot.


Someone suggested to turn my fan on (I normally have it on automatic, I switched it to on)

The temperature has maintained at 71 for a good 20 minutes now and the heat's not going on

Is it a good idea to leave the fan on all the time?
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:40 PM   #7
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Furnace goes on and off a lot.


Ive heard it uses less power to run it all the time than it does to cycle.If its helping the cycle of the heat exchanger Id keep it on
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:27 PM   #8
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Furnace goes on and off a lot.


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Originally Posted by drdon51 View Post
Ive heard it uses less power to run it all the time than it does to cycle.If its helping the cycle of the heat exchanger Id keep it on
If its a standard multispeed motor.
It uses more electric to run it 24/7.

It is less wear on it, from not having to start and stop though.
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:41 PM   #9
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Furnace goes on and off a lot.


Forget the set back stat buy a standard stat not a hunter Honeywell Robertshaw or Lux are ok Lux is cheap but we have had good luck with the 40 we put in two years ago.

If you cant find the anticipator setting set it at longest then if the swing is too great bring it back a little.

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