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50+ Years of Serving
The Shreveport Area

50+ Years of Serving The Shreveport Area


Moon's Air Blog

Why Does My Heat Pump Keep Quickly Switching On and Off?


A heat pump is a great choice for our climate. It provides fantastic cooling during our long, hot summers. And it can provide warmth throughout the winter as well, with an efficiency that’s far beyond that of any other type of heating system. But, like everything else in this world, there’s always a chance that something will go wrong and your heat pump will need repair.

There are a variety of signs you might notice when your heat pump is having an issue. One you should pay particular attention to is something called short-cycling. Short-cycling is when your heat pump keeps quickly switching on and off. This means you need prompt heat pump repair. Here’s what you should know.

Symptoms and Causes

Some heat pump issues are the symptom of a problem. For example, if your heat pump makes a strange noise, the noise is the symptom, and the actual problem is whatever is making the noise. Some heat pump issues are the cause of a problem. If you spot a damaged area of coil allowing refrigerant to leak, that’s the cause, and it will create a variety of issues with your heat pump’s operation.

Short-cycling is both a symptom and a cause. Something has already gone wrong, and that’s made the heat pump start short-cycling. But if you don’t get repairs soon, the short-cycling itself will cause more problems!

How Short-Cycling Starts

One way short cycling can be triggered is when there’s not enough airflow through the system. The first thing you should do is change the air filter. If that’s been seriously clogged with dust, not allowing good air circulation, heat will build up in the system and automatic shutdowns will be set off every time the heat pump starts. Changing the filter might fix your problem entirely. 

If you’ve tried that, and the problem persists, it’s likely there’s some other cause of overheating. This is often an issue with the blower fan motor. It might need lubrication, or to have its bearings replaced. When you get heat pump repair in Bossier City, LA, your technician can diagnose the specific cause of your short-cycling and get it fixed for you.

Problems Short-Cycling Causes

If short-cycling is allowed to continue, you’ll end up with two very serious problems on your hands. The first is a dramatic increase to your electric bill—and you definitely don’t want that! The whole idea of having a heat pump is that it will use less energy! But the startup is the part of the cycle that uses the most power. When startups are happening three, four, five, or more times as often, it uses a ton of energy.

The second problem is even worse. The component that gets strained the most by all these starts and stops is the compressor. This part is so vital and so costly that, in many cases, it’s simply more practical and cost-effective to replace the whole system. A burned-out compressor is the most common cause of heat pumps and air conditioners needing repalcement. 

Don’t pay extra for electricity you shouldn’t need to use. Don’t strain your compressor. If your heat pump is short-cycling, get repairs right away.

Contact Moon’s Air today to discuss your heat pump.

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