Why Does My Heat Pump Shut Off Before Reaching the Set Temperature?

One problem many homeowners experience is “short-cycling” of their heat pump. Short-cycling is when the unit turns off and on repeatedly and rapidly while never attaining the desired temperature set on the thermostat.

Here are some possible reasons why your system is short-cycling and why you should have the experts at Airflow Masters Heating & Cooling come and check it out.

Why Is Short-Cycling Bad?

Short-cycling means the following to you as a homeowner:

  • Your home never heats or cools to the temperature you want.

  • Your budget takes a hit because of repeated, unnecessary use of the heat pump.

  • Your HVAC system takes a beating because of overuse.

Common Short Cycling Problems

Clogged Filter: This is the only short-cycling problem that does not require an HVAC technician to correct. When a system becomes clogged, your unit might be heating or cooling sufficiently, but the airflow is restricted because of a dirty filter.

Faulty Thermostat: When your thermostat is calibrated incorrectly or needs replacing, it can send repeated, wrong messages that cause your heat pump to turn on and shut off regardless of what the system has heated or cooled.

Thermostat Placement: If your HVAC system is new, it is possible that the thermostat was placed in a poor location. Examples of that would include the thermostat being exposed to direct sunlight or in an area of the home that has drafts that affect thermostat performance.

Leaky Refrigerant: Your system uses refrigerant to transfer heat to and from your home. If you have a refrigerant leak, the transfer is never done correctly, which can cause the heat pump to short cycle and fail to sufficiently heat a room or home.

Wrong Sized Pump: Your heat pump might be too large or small to adequately manage the heating or cooling of your home. When this happens, your unit is told by the thermostat to prematurely heat or cool, or it is overwhelmed by the demand and never shuts down for long.

If your heat pump is short cycling, call in a professional! For more information about our heating products and services, reach out to us today.