$49 A/C Inspection. Ensure Your House is Cool for the SUMMER! 

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$49 A/C Inspection. Ensure Your House is Cool for the SUMMER! 

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$49 A/C Inspection. Ensure Your House is Cool for the SUMMER! 

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Why Does My Heat Pump Run Constantly?

If you've noticed your heat pump is running constantly, you might be wondering what's causing this issue. A heat pump should cycle on and off to maintain the desired temperature in your home efficiently. When it runs constantly, it could signal an underlying problem that needs attention.


When a heat pump is running continuously, it not only raises energy bills but also raises concerns about potential issues within the system. Below, you'll find the various issues that can lead to your heat pump's constant operation. We also share insights into how to troubleshoot them on your own and, when necessary, how the professionals from Boothe's can come to the rescue with our expertise and experience.


Thermostat Issues

One common reason for a heat pump running constantly is thermostat problems. A malfunctioning thermostat can misread your home's temperature, causing the heat pump to work overtime despite accurate settings.


Here's what to do to troubleshoot thermostat issues:


  • Check the Thermostat and Temperature Settings: Ensure that the thermostat settings are correctly configured. It should be set to your desired temperature, and the mode should be either "heat" or "cool," depending on the season. Make sure the fan is set to "auto" or else it will be running constantly, even when the heat pump is not actively working in heating or cooling mode.

  • Replace Batteries: If your thermostat uses batteries, replace them to ensure it functions properly.

If your thermostat does not respond to these troubleshooting steps, our professionals can repair it or replace it with a new smart or programmable thermostat that can help regulate your home's temperature more accurately and properly communicate with the heat pump system.


Dirty or Clogged Air Filters

Typically, heat pumps run for short cycles to increase or decrease temperatures inside your home. Clogged or dirty air filters can restrict the airflow through your heat pump, causing it to run constantly as it struggles to maintain the desired temperature.


To troubleshoot your heat pump's air filter:


  • Inspect the Air Filters: Check your air filter and replace it if it is dirty or clogged. Most filters should be replaced every 1-3 months as part of your regular heat pump maintenance routine.

  • Clean Ducts and Vents: Make sure the ducts and vents are free from debris and obstructions, as these can also impede airflow.

If the issue persists after cleaning or replacing the air filters, our professionals can assess your heat pump heating system to identify and correct other causes of blocked airflow.


Air Duct Issues

Another common reason for your heat pump running continuously can be related to issues with your home's air ducts. Your ductwork is the pathway through which conditioned air is distributed throughout your home. If there are problems with your ducts, the heat pump may have to work harder to maintain the desired temperature.


Troubleshoot your heat pump by examining your ducts for leaks or damage. Check your air ducts for any visible leaks or damage. Leaking ducts can result in conditioned air escaping, forcing the heat pump to run constantly to make up for the few degrees of heating or cooling loss.


If you identify issues with your ductwork, it's advisable to consult our professionals to conduct a thorough inspection and make necessary repairs or replacements. Properly sealed and insulated ducts will not only help your heat pump work more efficiently but also improve indoor air quality.


Refrigerant Issues

Refrigerant is a vital component in your heat pump's cooling and heating process, as heat pumps work using refrigerant to transfer heat between indoor and outdoor air. A refrigerant leak or insufficient levels can cause your HVAC equipment to run continuously and lose efficiency, as it struggles to transfer heat effectively.




  • Check for Leaks: Look for signs of refrigerant leaks such as hissing sounds, ice accumulation, or a drop in cooling or heating efficiency.

If you notice signs of a refrigerant leak, call our HVAC technicians for heat pump repair to locate and fix it. They will then recharge your system with the appropriate amount of refrigerant to maintain your heat pump's operation.


Insufficient Insulation

Inadequate insulation in your home can lead to ambient heat loss during cold weather and heat gain in the summer, leading to a heat pump running constantly to compensate for the few degrees of temperature fluctuations.


If you suspect this issue, you should:


  • Check for Drafts: Inspect your home for drafts around windows and doors, and seal them to prevent heat loss or gain.

  • Insulate Your Home: Properly insulate your home's walls and attic to maintain a stable indoor temperature.

If your home lacks proper insulation, our professionals can assess your insulation needs and recommend and install the necessary insulation improvements to prevent your heat pump from constantly running.


Mechanical Issues

Mechanical problems within the heat pump, such as a malfunctioning compressor or blower, can lead to constant operation.


If you think your heat pump suffers from mechanical issues, do the following:


  • Listen for Unusual Sounds: Unusual sounds like grinding, screeching, or banging can indicate mechanical problems with your heat pump.

  • Schedule Regular Maintenance: Schedule heat pump maintenance to prevent and address mechanical issues before they become severe.

If there are mechanical issues, it's essential to have one of our professionals inspect and repair the damaged components to ensure your heat pump operates efficiently.


Condensate Pump Issues

Condensate pumps play a critical role in the operation of certain heat pump systems, particularly in areas with high humidity. These pumps are responsible for removing excess condensation produced during the cooling process. When a condensate pump malfunctions, it can result in your heat pump running continuously.


Follow these steps to troubleshoot this issue:


  • Check for Water Leaks: Inspect the area around the condensate pump for water leaks, which may indicate a problem with the pump or the drainage system.

  • Clean the Drain Line: If the issue seems minor, clean the condensate pump's drain line to ensure it is not clogged or obstructed.

If you suspect condensate pump issues, it's best to have a professional technician inspect and repair the pump or drainage system. They can identify and address any pump malfunctions, clogs, or leaks, ensuring proper removal of condensation and preventing constant operation of your heat pump. Proper maintenance of the condensate pump is crucial to the overall efficiency of your heat pump system, particularly in humid climates.


Incorrect Heat Pump Size

Having an incorrectly sized heat pump for your home can lead to constant operation as it struggles to meet your heating or cooling demands.


The best thing to do in this situation is to consult an HVAC professional to assess whether your heat pump is appropriately sized for your home. If your heat pump is the wrong size, our professionals can recommend and install the right-sized unit to improve efficiency and performance.


Electrical Problems

Electrical issues, such as faulty wiring or electrical component failure, can cause your heat pump to run constantly.


If your heat pump is running constantly, try these troubleshooting steps:


  • Inspect Wiring: Check for loose or damaged wiring in the heat pump's electrical system.

  • Check Circuit Breakers: Ensure that the circuit breakers for your heat pump are not tripped.

If electrical issues are suspected or identified, it's crucial to have a professional electrician or HVAC technician address and repair them to ensure your heat pump functions safely and efficiently.


Faulty Defrost Cycle

One less commonly known reason for a heat pump running continuously could be a malfunction in the defrost cycle. The defrost cycle is a crucial component of the heat pump's operation, especially in cold weather. A heat pump defrosts to prevent ice buildup on the outdoor unit by periodically reversing the cycle to melt any accumulated frost.


When your system will run constantly in heating mode, do the following:


  • Monitor for Ice Buildup: If you notice excessive ice buildup on the outdoor unit, it might indicate a defrost cycle issue.

  • Check Defrost Control Board: Inspect the defrost control board for signs of damage or malfunction.

If your heat pump's defrost cycle is not functioning correctly, it's best to call in professionals to diagnose and repair the issue. They can replace or repair the defrost control board, reversing valve, or any other components that may be causing the problem, ensuring your heat pump operates efficiently, especially in colder climates.


If You Have a Heat Pump Running Constantly, Call Boothe's!

When your heat pump runs constantly, it's essential to identify the root cause to prevent unnecessary energy consumption, reduce wear and tear on your system, and ensure a comfortable home environment. By following these troubleshooting steps and seeking professional assistance from Boothe's, you can address the issue promptly and enjoy more efficient and cost-effective heating and cooling in your home. Contact us today to schedule heat pump repair service.