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Ace Hardware Home Services Blog

Don’t Ignore a Short Cycling Heat Pump


A heat pump system is a great investment. These systems can keep just about any home optimally comfortable in an efficient manner. In fact, they work so well that some people make the mistake of thinking that they’re invincible.

We hate to break it to you but this isn’t true. Just like with any other home comfort system, a heat pump can encounter problems. When it does, you’ll need to know if and when to schedule air conditioning repair in Mooresville. One surefire warning sign to watch for that will indicate a repair need is short cycling.

We can give you the details on what short cycling is here.

What is Short Cycling?

Short cycling is a term that describes when a comfort system develops short, interrupted heating or cooling cycles. While a heating cycle should last around 15 minutes in length, a short cycling heat pump will only run for a few brief minutes before shutting itself off and then starting up a new heating cycle.

The initial problem this creates is that it leads to an uncomfortable house that is never properly heated. There are other consequences to short cycling that go unaddressed which we will dig into in a minute.

What Causes This Issue?

You’ve already decided that you want to prevent your heat pump from short cycling. We admire the effort but some of the causes of short cycling can’t always be prevented. You can schedule maintenance regularly to reduce the chances of this issue but there are problems that may still pop up. These can include:

  • An evaporator coil that has become too dirty.
  • A leak in your refrigerant line.
  • A problem with air circulation into or out of the heat pump.
  • Problems with the temperature detection provided by the thermostat.
  • Issues with the system overheating and shutting itself off.

The Impact of Unaddressed Short Cycling

Let’s say you have noticed that your heat pump is starting to short cycle. Maybe you’re wondering if you can just deal with this pattern as the new “normal.” Well, that would work about as well as driving your car on a flat tire. The machine will still run but you won’t get far and the unresolved problem will start causing other issues faster than you’d think.

If your heat pump is short cycling and the problem isn’t addressed properly, you will start to encounter further issues such as:

  • Increased energy usage.
  • Worsening damage to the refrigerant line.
  • A shortened lifespan.
  • A complete loss of heating capabilities.
  • A complete lack of cooling capabilities when summer arrives.

Short cycling may be easy to brush off when you don’t know what it means. However, this issue is one to pay close attention to.

Short cycling is just one of the problems that a heat pump system can encounter. When yours runs into trouble, you’re better off talking to a team of experts to get the problem resolved.

Schedule your heat pump repairs with Ace Hardware Home Services for 100% customer satisfaction guaranteed. Thank you for choosing Ace Hardware Home Services!

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