Solved: Nest Noticed Your Furnace Shuts Down Within 15 Minutes of Heating 

Using a smart thermostat isn’t just wise for saving on heating costs. It can also alert you if there’s a problem with your furnace.

The Google Nest has a feature called Furnace Heads Up, which will alert you if it senses a problem with your heating system. You’ll see the alert on the thermostat, in the app and in your monthly Nest Home report.

One of the most common issues is: “Nest noticed that your furnace shuts down within 15 minutes of heating.” Here’s why this is happening and how you can fix it.

Your Furnace is Short Cycling

When you get the message “Nest noticed that your furnace shuts down within 15 minutes of heating,” that means your furnace is short cycling. Short cycling is when the furnace turns on for a brief period of time then switches off. This HVAC game of red light, green light stops your home from heating up and can increase your energy bill. It can also increase deterioration on your furnace. It may also be more susceptible to breaking down and may even need to be replaced sooner.

Without Furnace Heads Up, you might not notice your furnace is turning on and off frequently, since its blower fan might keep going. This feature can recognize power interruptions that occur during short cycling.

How Do I Keep My Furnace from Short Cycling?

There are a few easy ways you can prevent your furnace from short cycling.

Replace Your Air Filter Often

If your air filter is too dirty, it will restrict airflow. Your furnace will then shut off early to prevent overheating. We recommend changing flat filters once a month, and pleated filters every three months. It’s simple to stay on top of replacing your filter by setting up a Filter Reminder on your thermostat.

If you’ve replaced your filter after receiving a Furnace Heads Up alert, you can run a test to see if that fixes the problem.

    • Press the ring to pull up the Quick View menu, where you’ll choose “settings” and then “equipment.”
    • The thermostat will show the wires linked to it. Select “continue.”
    • You’ll see system components displayed. Select “test.”
    • Select “Furnace Heads Up” and follow the instructions. Your furnace will go through a 15-minute heating check and give you the results when it’s finished.

Google says if the filter is clean or if your furnace didn’t clear the test, something else could be awry that needs professional assistance. If this happens, contact Winnipeg Supply Service Experts at 204-800-0613 for furnace repair.

Clean or Replace Your Furnace’s Flame Sensor

Having a dirty or bad flame sensor is another top reason why your furnace might short cycle. You can determine if there’s a problem by watching your furnace as it starts up. Here’s what to look for.

    • Take off the door from your furnace so you can see the burners. If you have a viewport in the furnace door, you may not need to remove the door for this.
    • Switch on the furnace by setting the thermostat to a higher indoor temperature.
    • When you turn on the heat, the fan will turn on first. You should hear it turn on.
    • The ignitor will start to glow. The ignitor is either on the left or right of the burners, but it varies according to the furnace model.
    • Once the ignitor is hot enough, the gas will switch on and the burners will light.
    • If the flame sensor can’t sense a flame, it’s usually due to the fact it’s dirty or faulty. Your furnace will then shut off as a safety measure. If your furnace is short cycling, you’ll notice the flame and fan shutting off after a couple of seconds.

If you’re wondering how flame sensors could get dirty being bathed in fire constantly, a blend of moisture and chemicals in the air form a thin coating of carbon on the surface. Cleaning a dirty flame sensor will end the short cycling issue. This task is best left to an Expert. That’s due to the fact an HVAC professional like Winnipeg Supply Service Experts will be able to clean it without breaking it or be able to tell you if it needs to be replaced.

Check Your Furnace’s Exhaust Pipe Frequently

Your high-efficiency furnace vents combustion gases outdoors through a PVC pipe. This pipe can get obstructed by snow or bird nests, so you’ll want to ensure that it’s always clear. If the pipe gets blocked, it can cause your furnace to overheat. It could also cause carbon monoxide to flow back into your home, creating a potentially fatal situation.

However, modern furnaces are equipped with a pressure switch that generally will stop these situations from occurring. Families with young children will often find their kids have stuffed toy cars, sticks or nuts into the exhaust if it’s in an area that’s accessible by tiny hands. Even this little amount is enough to trip the pressure switch. The uneven flow of air into and out of the system trips the pressure switch, which shuts down the burners. If this is the root of your problem, you will experience short cycling and a furnace error code indicating the pressure switch was triggered.

An Expert HVAC technician from Winnipeg Supply Service Experts can check the codes for you and determine the problem. Unfortunately, Nest has not evolved to the point where it can read the error codes furnace manufacturers create, so you will still need a pro to help you out.

Let the Experts Solve Your Short Cycling Furnace

If you get the message, “Nest noticed that your furnace shuts down within 15 minutes of heating,” you know what to do. At Winnipeg Supply Service Experts, our Experts have the expertise to fix any furnace problem quickly and affordably. What’s even better is that we back our repairs with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee for one year.* To request your appointment, contact us at 204-800-0613 or schedule online.


*Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.

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