Homeowners in Portsmouth, VA, use heat pumps to both heat and cool homes efficiently. However, they can start short-cycling, turning on and off more frequently than normal. Your heat pump could be short-cycling for the following reasons:

Oversized System

Proper system sizing is critical for heat pump performance. If your system is too large, it’ll cool or heat your home too quickly. Always have a professional perform a load calculation to determine the correct size for your home.

Once you know the proper size for your home, ensure that the system you purchase matches the load. A proper load calculation will take into consideration:

  • Size of your home.
  • Number of people in your home.
  • Home’s insulation levels.
  • Home’s window types.

Refrigerant Leaks

Leaking refrigerant will cause your heat pump to work harder to maintain the set temperature. This can cause short-cycling and other problems, such as reduced efficiency and ice buildup on the coils. Icing can also occur on the outdoor unit if the evaporator coils are too cold.

Faulty Thermostat

A faulty thermostat gives your system false reading, causing it to cycle more frequently than normal. Wrong wiring can also cause this problem. You should check your thermostat for proper operation and calibration.

The location of your thermostat can also affect its accuracy. A thermostat located near the vent or drafts will give false readings. This is because the thermostat will sense the temperature around it, not the home’s actual temperature.

Dirty Coils

If the coils on your heat pump are dirty, they will be less effective at transferring heat. Accumulation of dirt and debris can cause the coils to freeze, which will reduce the efficiency of your system and cause it to short-cycle. Always keep the coils clean and free of debris.

If you want your heat pump to operate for a long time, efficiently and without short-cycling, keep an eye out for these four problems. Always consult BAJA Heating & Cooling when you have any questions or concerns about maintenance of heat pumps to avoid short-cycling. We’ll offer the best solution to get your system up and running again.

Image provided by iStock

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