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Your Comfort is Our Priority!

Emergency Service



Why Is My Heat Pump Short Cycling?

Monday, October 24th, 2022 at 11:00 am

technician-working-on-furnaceMany customers we serve have heat pumps installed in their homes for heating. In fact, heat pumps are arguably the most popular heating system when you consider each option. A heat pump is energy efficient and inexpensive to install and maintain. But, heat pumps do have some downsides if not properly cared for, and one of those is short cycling.

Allowing your heat pump to short cycle can cost you a lot on your energy bill and over the life of your unit. If you’re wondering why your heat pump is short cycling in St. Augustine, Fl you can give us a call. Our team can find the root of the problem and fix it so that your heat pump is working its best all season long. 

What Does Short Cycling Mean?

Short cycling happens in your heat pump if the system turns off before a heating cycle is complete. The same thing can happen during cooling cycles, but with winter around the corner, we are focusing on the heating aspect of your heat pump. Your heat pump completes two to three heating cycles each hour on average. 

This means that your heat pump turns on when the thermostat indicates that the temperature is too low. Then, when the desired temperature is reached your heat pump turns off again. Short cycling happens when your heat pump turns on and off very frequently without ever actually heating your home to the desired temperature. Your heat pump turns off early, and the thermostat signals it to turn back on because your home is still too cool. The heat pump then turns on again and back off, repeating this cycle until the problem is fixed.

Why is Short Cycling a Problem?

You might think that your heat pump running more often isn’t a big deal. If your home is still comfortable, why does it matter if your heat pump short cycles? Well, to begin with, short cycling leads to much higher energy bills because your heat pump is on for a longer period of time over the course of a day. It also puts more wear and tear on your heat pump components, leading the system to have a shorter lifespan.

What Causes Heat Pump Short Cycling?

There are a variety of things that can lead to short cycling in your heat pump. If you suspect that your heat pump is short cycling, give our team a call right away. We can troubleshoot the problem and get your unit working the way it should. The most common causes of short cycling include:

  • Wrong unit size – You may think that having a large HVAC unit is a good thing, but it’s not always. If your heat pump is too big for your square footage, heating cycles may be shorter. If the unit is too small, it cannot keep up with your heating needs and turns on more often. 
  • Overheating – Your heat pump may overheat because it’s working too hard to heat your home. This happens when it cannot bring in enough airflow due to clogged air filters, air duct blockages, bent fans, or damaged air vents. Your unit may be cutting off sooner as a safety precaution to prevent overheating.
  • Thermostat readings – If your thermostat isn’t calibrated correctly, it can’t read the temperature accurately. This may lead to your system turning on more often. Your thermostat may need to be recalibrated or replaced. 
  • Compressor damage – If your compressor is old, it may just be time for a new unit. But if another small part – like a bolt or a screw – came off and banged around inside your unit, it could have reached your compressor and caused some damage. 

For reliable AC service and so much more, trust Climate Masters! Serving St. Johns County since 1988 with quality, hometown service. Contact us today. 

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