The extreme temperature changes in both the spring and fall time mean that for most Michigan homeowners, a working heat pump is more than just a comfort. It is a necessity. This is why we believe it is so important to never be in a position where your heat pump may be compromised. At A-1 Mechanical, we work with heat pumps every day and understand the issues they can cause, like short cycling. However, we understand that you’re not an HVAC expert and may have questions yourself, such as: “Why does my heat pump cycle on and off?” We’ll explain.

What Is Heat Pump Short Cycling?

Simply put, when a heat pump short cycles it is able to turn on, but it does not complete its full cycle. This causes the heat pump to quickly shut down and turn back on again. This eventually can turn into a vicious cycle that leaves your heat pump in worse shape due to excessive wear and tear from turning off and on too frequently.

Reasons a Heat Pump Can Short Cycle

Like any machine in your home that receives daily use, there are a plethora of reasons why your heat pump is short cycling. A few of them include:

Faulty Electrical Components

Trouble with the electric control board that controls your home’s HVAC system is a common cause of heat pump short cycling. The electric control board not only is in sync with your home’s thermostat, but it is in complete charge of when your HVAC system turns on or off.

There could be a number of electrical connection issues or faulty components that are causing the short cycling issue. Regardless, get in contact with an experienced technician before tackling any of the electrical problems you may be having.

Any blown fuses or problems with your home’s breaker board could also affect your heat pump’s ability to perform.

Thermostat Issues

While we are all about smart home automation and upgrading your home into the 21st century, new home technology is not without its faults. A thermostat leaves plenty of room for error. So, if you begin to notice your heat pump short cycling, there is a chance your thermostat is not working as it should, causing the heat pump to turn on and off uncontrollably.

An easy way to check on the status of your thermostat is to check its batteries and connections. An issue with either of those things could lead to short cycling.

Low Refrigerant Levels

You may notice that your heat pump is not keeping your home as cool as you would like it. This could be due to a low level of refrigerant. This can add extra stress to your unit and not allow it to work as optimally as it should, leading to short cycling.

Clogged Air Filter

A dirty or clogged air filter can greatly impact the efficiency of your heat pump. When the level of dust and other contaminants is too high in a filter, your heat pump is unable to perform, which can lead to short cycling. Swapping out your air filters often can help prevent this and further issues with your machine.

What to Do when Your Heat Pump Short Cycles

Once you have come to the conclusion that what your heat pump is doing is in fact short cycling, you have a couple of options. 

If the issue is easily recognizable, such as issues with the thermostat’s battery or connection, then you may be able to solve the problem yourself. However, we almost always recommend contacting a team of professionals that you can trust if your heat pump is short cycling. Your home is one of the most important things in life, so don’t trust just anyone with it.

Choose A-1 Mechanical for Any Heat Pump Problems

A-1 Mechanical has been serving the Lansing and Grand Rapids community with pride for years and are excited to continue to do so. With the industry standard for technology and the best team of technicians in the business, we are excited to have the opportunity to show you the difference of working with the best.

If you are experiencing any issues with your heat pump or HVAC system, don’t hesitate to give us a call or schedule an appointment. We are eager and ready to serve you and keep your home safe and comfortable!