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How Often Should A Heat Pump Cycle Turn On And Off?

Views: 15223     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-03-16      Origin: Site

Why Does Your Heat Pump Cycle On And Off Too Often?

Heat pumps are known for their energy efficiency, but if the units cycle on and off too frequently, there might be some internal problems the increase energy consumption and cause the damage of heat pump components. This is a common problem of heat pumps, known as short cycling. When a heat pump short cycles, your unit cannot maintain the desired temperature in either heating or cooling mode, so it turns on and off constantly.

Why Does Your Heat Pump Cycle On And Off Too Often?


If your heat pump cycle turns on and off too frequently, any of the following might be the problem:


1. Clogged Air Filter

This is always one of the first problems to check on. Debris and dust will eventually form on the filter. When not cleaned or replaced, airflow will be restricted and your system will not be able to circulate the appropriate amount of heat or coolness for your home.

A dirty air filter could be the reason why your heat pump malfunctions and turns on and off every 5 minutes. Once you discover this problem, you won't have to go over the more complicated problems. But once you won't act on this immediately, it will create a whole new set of problems including a frozen evaporator coil. The unit will continue to repeatedly turn on and off.

That's why, depending on the brand of your unit, clean or replace your air filter regularly based on the recommendations.


2. Thermostat Error

There is a possibility that your thermostat is giving you an incorrect reading about your heating system. The location of the thermostat might be causing the problem. Placing it near a window or vent would produce an inaccurate reading that causes short cycling.

Short cycling means your system shuts down earlier before it could even complete one heating or cooling cycle. Then it turns back on again for a brief time.

For example, if your thermostat is set to 35℃, it might shut down from 26℃ to 32℃ but will never reach 35℃.

Another reason would be faulty wiring between the heat pump and the thermostat. Let the professional heat pump crew assess this.


3. The Refrigerant Leaks

When hot weather descends on your home, the refrigerant of your unit captures the heat and throws it outside. On the other hand, in cold weather, heat is taken from the outside area and then pressurized into the interiors of the house.

A refrigerant leak will make it hard for your system to execute the heat transfer procedure. And your unit will not be capable of even completing a cycle. One evidence of leaking refrigerant is when you see ice forming on the outdoor unit. By this time, it is a must to seek the help of an experienced technician.


4. Oversized or Undersized Unit

If your unit is not of the proper size for your room, it will either heat or cool your area quickly or slowly, and then prematurely detect that it has reached the desired temperature, then shut down. Then the cycle will repeat over and over again, making your unit feel abused.

That's why proper calculations should be performed by HVAC professionals before you have any unit installed. This is a very serious matter because if the wrong sized unit is already installed, this would require a costly replacement for another unit.


How Often Should A Heat Pump Cycle?

It completely depends on the unit's cooling capacity, the room temperature and the humidity. On the average, a 10 to 20 minutes shut down should be appropriate enough depending on the factors mentioned. And it should be within 2 to 3 cycles per hour max.

Your HVAC unit is not designed to be running all the time. Its purpose is to bring your interior space to a comfortable temperature and humidity level, and then maintain this level. If your unit is constantly cycling on and off, there's something wrong because it is wasting hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on your energy costs annually.

Your heat pump should logically not be running all the time, except in very cold weather conditions wherein it will run continuously. If the weather is above 35 degrees, and that's relatively pleasant weather, and your heat pump is still running in a short cycle, you should let professional maintenance people check it out.

How Does Inverter Technology Influence Heat Pumps For Good?

During previous decades, in air conditioning and heating, everyone had no choice but to settle for forced air systems in central air conditioners, furnaces and heat pumps. Heat pumps have always been considered to be efficient and versatile, but still have room for improvement.

At present, heat pumps are much better in performance because of inverter driver variable speed compressors. They permit the heat pump to operate within the whole range of 0 to 100 percent. It is an intelligent analyzer of the temperature and other conditions in the home and then adjusts the output of the heat pump up to maximum efficiency and comfort. At the same time, this inverter heat pump system saves a lot on your energy bills because only the needed output is being utilized. Never over capacity or under capacity.

The problem of short cycling will be erased. With inverter technology, your heat pump will need to start up less, so it will be less burdened. The technological breakthrough reduces the number of cycles needed.


There's a school of thought that says that heat pumps will never function well in extreme cold. Inverter technology solves this through the feature Hyper Heat. It functions to create heat at lower temperatures. It keeps your home warm even when temperatures in the outdoor environment is running as low as a frigid minus 25℃.

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