Under normal operating conditions, heat pumps release hot air periodically when they sense a drop in your home’s temperature. In today’s post, air conditioning repair company Sherrell Air Conditioning & Heating discusses why sometimes heat pumps run constantly.

heat pump, shut off

How Heat Pumps Work

To understand why heat pumps sometimes run constantly, let us first discuss how air conditioning systems work. Air conditioners put a substance called refrigerant through various stages of compression that change its temperature. In its cooled state, it absorbs some of the heat in a room, then undergoes compression, where it changes to its gaseous state.

As the pressure is relieved at a later stage, two things happen: it releases the heat it’s gathered from the indoors and returns to its cold, liquid state. Cold refrigerant is then pumped through coils, onto which air is pumped, producing cold air.

Heat pumps utilize the same process, but in reverse: the coils gather heat from the outdoors through the air (some types of heat pumps also gather heat from under the ground or a nearby body of water) and release it indoors. Both air conditioners and heat pumps are designed to release conditioned air only when the thermostat detects a change in room temperature.

Why Do Some Heat Pumps Run All the Time?

If your heat pump is running continuously, try a few troubleshooting steps like resetting your thermostat or changing its battery before calling for a heating service technician. However, there’s at least one factor that may be causing your heat pump to run constantly: outdoor temperatures.

If it’s below 30 degrees outside, your heat pump will struggle to pull heat from the outdoor air, which means it needs to work overtime to meet your indoor heating requirements. The same can happen to an air conditioner during cooling season, when outdoor temperatures exceed 100 degrees.

However, if your heat pump is still running constantly even when outdoor temperatures are 30 degrees and above, this could be caused by one or more of the following: an undersized or outdated heat pump, leaking refrigerant or dirty condenser coils. The latter two causes can be fixed by a certified HVAC technician (or prevented with regular maintenance), however, undersized or outdated heat pumps generally require replacement.

Sherrell Air Conditioning & Heating is your leading provider of HVAC installation and repair services. Give us a call at (972) 216-1961 or (713) 595-4986. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.

Whether you need routine maintenance, emergency service repair or an estimate on equipment, give us a call.

Sherrell Air Conditioning and Heating is ready to serve you.

Scroll to Top