Winter is the worst season to deal with heat pump problems. And when your unit begins turning on and off with no obvious explanation, the stress only increases. There are a few reasons for a heat pump short cycling. Here’s what you need to know:
What Does Heat Pump Short Cycling Mean?
Heat pump short cycling refers to what happens when a heating unit comes on but doesn’t complete its normal cycle. Instead, the system shuts down briefly, then restarts again. This happens over and over. You can experience short cycling in both heating and cooling modes.
What Causes a Heat Pump to Short Cycle?
Many heating issues might be common, but it doesn’t mean they’re easy to deal with. In addition to issues like unusual noises and cold air blowing instead of hot air, homeowners often experience heat pump short cycling problems. Here’s what causes it—and how to address repairs.
The simplest answer for short cycling problems could lie in your thermostat. A programmable thermostat controls your heater’s cycle and temperature settings. If it’s malfunctioning, it could cause the heater to turn on and off again without providing heat.
Troubleshooting the thermostat begins with checking its batteries or power connection. You can also check your home’s circuit panel and see if the unit tripped a breaker. Another possible solution is a blown fuse. With any of these scenarios, you will need to remove the thermostat from the wall to investigate. You should always work with an experienced technician to diagnose this issue safely.
You Might Have a Computer Problem
The control board that oversees your home’s HVAC system could also be the culprit when the heater short cycles. Its programming determines when to kick the heat on and off.
The electrical control board components work with the thermostat to handle your home heat functions. A problem with this unit could mean repairs or replacement. Again, repairs to this electrical component is not something you should try to DIY.
You Have the Wrong Heater for Your Home
Whether your heating unit is brand new or has been in the home for a long time, it might be the wrong size. An HVAC system that isn’t a good fit will work harder to maintain the desired temperature in your home. This means more wear on the unit, shortening its lifespan, and less efficient heating and cooling in the meantime.
You might not notice these issues until something changes in your home—such as installing energy-efficient windows or replacing insulation. If your heat pump acts differently after making changes like these, it’s time to consult with an HVAC professional.
How to Handle Heat Pump Short Cycling
Like other complex HVAC issues, it’s helpful to contact an expert to manage short cycling problems. Ignoring this issue can significantly shorten the lifespan of your HVAC system, and cost you big bucks in heating and cooling bills. Experts at Solution Based Plumbing, Heating, and A/C can diagnose and repair your heater, keeping you warm and comfortable all season long.