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Serving the Tri County Area Since 1960


Charter Home Comfort Blog

Is Your Heat Pump Rapidly Turning On and Off? Here’s What Might Be Causing It

Heat pumps are great HVAC systems because they offer both heating and cooling. But as wonderful as they are, problems do pop up from time to time. One such problem is having a heat pump that turns on and off repeatedly without ever staying on long enough to change the temperature in your home.

But why does this happen? You can keep reading to learn more about heat pump short cycling, why it happens, and what we can do about it. Then give our team a call to schedule your appointment for heat pump repair in Grosse Pointe, MI.

What Is Short Cycling? 

Short cycling is something that happens when your air conditioner turns on and off every few minutes. A typical cooling cycle lasts 10 minutes or so. When your unit doesn’t stay on long enough to complete a cooling cycle, the temperature in your home is not changing, yet your air conditioner is still consuming a lot of energy.

Short cycling happens for a variety of reasons, including:

  • A safety mechanism inside of the unit triggers the unit to turn off to prevent some type of problem
  • Airflow is poor because of a dirty air filter or other blockage inside the unit
  • The thermostat is miscalibrated and sending incorrect signals to your AC

No matter what the problem is, if your thermostat continues to signal to your air conditioner that the temperature is not low enough, your AC will continue to turn on in an attempt to cool your home. The cycle continues until your air conditioner either breaks down or you turn it off.

Why Is Short Cycling a Problem?

Short cycling is a problem first because usually some kind of safety switch is being triggered. This means that something inside your air conditioner is not operating the way it needs to, and your air conditioner is potentially operating under harmful circumstances. Whatever is causing your AC unit to turn off before completing a cycle needs to be addressed.

The other factor to consider is that short cycling adds a lot of extra strain to the unit. Parts could easily overheat or burn up since your air conditioner is not designed to turn on and off so frequently. You run the risk of your air conditioner overheating, or of parts wearing out to the point that they cannot function the way they were designed to.

How to Address Short Cycling

If you suspect that your air conditioner is short cycling, your best course of action is to turn the unit off completely. This prevents additional damage from happening until our team can get to your home and assess the problem. 

Our team will first ask you some questions about the changes you’ve seen in your air conditioner operation. Sometimes this can help us pinpoint a more specific problem based on the unique symptoms. Then we will look inside of your air conditioner and find out what’s going wrong. Once we fix the source of the problem, your air conditioner should operate as normal again.

Contact Charter Home Comfort today to schedule an appointment with our professionals for AC service. Old fashioned values with tech savvy results! 

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