Why Is My Heat Pump Turning On and Off Frequently?

heat pump short cycling

Homeowners generally favor heat pumps for their efficiency. However, a number of common issues can cause them to run very inefficiently. When your unit turns on and off continuously, this can significantly drive up your energy bill and damage its parts.

No One Likes Short Short

The continuous on-and-off phenomenon is known as short cycling. When a heat pump short cycles, it is having trouble heating or cooling your Charlotte metropolitan area home. The unit can’t maintain the set temperature, so it restarts over and over again.

Here are four reasons this might be happening to your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system and what you should do:

  1. Air Filter Clog
    Whenever your heat pump has a problem, always check your air filter first. Over time, dust and debris form on your filter. When the filter is unchanged, this restricts airflow, which means your system will not circulate the right amount of air to heat or cool your home. Short cycling can result. You should replace or clean your air filter, depending on whether it is disposable or reusable. To prevent future clogs, be sure to do this on a regular basis per your heat pump manufacturer’s recommendations.
  2. Thermostat Error
    Your thermostat could be giving your system an inaccurate reading. This might be due to your thermostat’s placement. If situated near a vent or window, it is likely to produce a misleading temperature scan that can cause short cycling. Another possibility is faulty wiring between your thermostat and heat pump. In either case, you should have one of our highly trained Griffin Heating & Air Conditioning professionals assess the situation for you.
  3. Leaky Refrigerant
    During hot weather, your heat pump’s refrigerant absorbs heat from inside your home and sends it outside. During cold weather, the process is reversed. If you have a refrigerant leak, your system is going to have trouble with the heat transfer. Consequently, it will come up short in trying to complete a cycle. If you notice any icing on your outdoor unit, this could indicate a refrigerant leak. In this case, be sure to seek help from one of our experienced experts.
  4. Oversized Unit
    This is perhaps the most serious problem, as improper sizing may call for replacement. It is why our experts at Griffin Heating & Air Conditioning always perform the proper calculations, such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual J load calculation, before any HVAC installation.

Call Us for All Your Heat Pump Needs

If you have any heat pump questions or want short cycling explained in more detail, please don’t hesitate to call Griffin Heating & Air Conditioning here in the Charlotte metropolitan area, NC, at 704-873-1749. Or call or request service online today if you think you need a repair.

Need HVAC Service?

Contact the experts at Griffin Heating & Air Conditioning.

Call us at 704-873-1749!