Electric Heater Turns on and off Repeatedly: Facts to Understand Your Heater

There are some different opinions about electric heaters turning on and off repeatedly. For some people, that’s a normal thing to do. But for the others, it’s not normal and it’s a sign that there is something wrong with the heater.

To understand the condition, it’s better to look into the device’s internal parts and really understand what it’s all about.

The Electric Heater Turning On and Off Repeatedly

As mentioned before, some people believe that a heater is supposed to be on and then off on its own. It shows that the unit is working great. When the heater is on, it will generate heat to warm up the room, right?

Read also: How to Solve Water Heater Not Turning On

But at some point, it would generate enough heat to make it warm (and cozy) enough. When the device ‘senses’ that the room is already warm, it will turn itself off so it won’t be producing any more heat, so there won’t be any overheating issue.

electric heater turns on and off repeatedly

As the heater stops generating heat, the room temperature will slowly decrease. When the heater ‘senses’ the temperature drop, it will turn itself back on again, generating enough warmth and heat again. This cycle will continue to happen until you put a stop to it.

However, some believe that this short cycling is not normal. They argue that an electric heater should not switch off on its own so frequently. To avoid confusion, it’s always better to ask the clerk or seller about the type of heater and how to operate it properly before purchasing.

Don’t buy a heater without knowing the details of its operation. It’s even better to research the system of the brand or device you’re interested in.

Read also: Hot Water Heater Smells Like Gas

Why Won’t My Electric Heater Stay on?

There are some explanations why the electric heater won’t stay on.

  • Dirty flame sensor: This small but crucial part detects whether the pilot light works correctly. If the sensor is dirty, the furnace to short cycle, turning off automatically. You can clean the sensor yourself, but if you’re unsure, it’s better to leave it to a professional technician.
  • Dirty furnace filters: Another common issue is when the filters are dirty. The buildup of debris and dirt causes the furnace to work harder, leading to overheating. If changing the filters doesn’t solve the problem, contact a professional service for help.
  • Malfunctioning thermostat: Sometimes, you may need to adjust the thermostat. If raising the temperature doesn’t turn the furnace on, you might need to replace the thermostat.
  • Blower motor issues: This motor moves hot air from the furnace through the ventilation. If it loses power or becomes dirty, the furnace will turn off automatically to avoid issues.

Read also: Common Symptoms of a Bad Evap Canister


If you have any doubts about your heater, especially when it comes to the electric heater turns on and off repeatedly, be sure to ask for help from a professional service to avoid greater mistakes.

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