setting hvac cycles Does your HVAC system cut on and off a little too frequently for your liking? Or maybe you feel like it lasts an eternity before turning off. Either way, you’ll find yourself wondering what’s the right duration for your unit to run before turning off. Read on to learn more about setting HVAC cycles correctly.

What Are HVAC Cycles?

As the temperature of your home changes, your thermostat turns on your furnace or air conditioning system to bring your home to the desired temperature. When the system is turned on, it keeps running until the room temperature increases or decreases to the same level as the set temperature on the thermostat. Once the desired temperature is attained, the system turns off until the room temperature changes again.

This turning on and off is what constitutes a furnace or air conditioning cycle. Simply put, an “on-time” and an “off-time” makes one cycle. Cycles per hour (CPH), therefore, refers to the number of runs that your HVAC unit has in an hour. For example, three cycles per hour would mean your system would have three on-off cycles in an hour.

What’s the Best Cycle Time?

The cycle time is essentially the amount of time your HVAC unit runs to maintain the room’s temperature equal to the thermostat’s temperature setting. In the case of three cycles per hour, one HVAC cycle would equal 10 minutes of run time, followed by 10 minutes off.

Depending on the surrounding conditions, your HVAC unit should run on cycles of 10 to 15 or 20 minutes. That implies that, to prevent short cycling, you should set your thermostat to 3 or 2 CPH.

If your HVAC unit has problems keeping up or runs for much less than 10 minutes at a time, it’s best to have it checked by a professional. If you need more assistance with setting HVAC cycles, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, and we’ll be happy to help. We’ve been providing quick, professional HVAC services to homeowners in the Indianapolis area for 50 years.