Heat Pump Won’t Turn Off? Top Reasons (And What to Do)
Heat pumps have become one of the most popular ways to heat and cool a home. Just like any mechanical system, they can sometimes malfunction. A common issue homeowners may encounter is when a heat pump won’t turn off. This can lead to discomfort, wasted energy, and potentially larger issues like the system breaking down.
I’ve been working with heat pumps for over 20 years now. I started learning the ins and outs of the HVAC industry when I was 13, and now after years of training, and experience dealing with heat pumps, I’ve seen it all.
In this article, we will explore the primary reasons why a heat pump may not shut off and provide advice on what to do to solve the problem. We’ll get into:
- Five possible reasons your heat pump your heat pump isn’t shutting off
- What to do when a heat pump won’t shut off
- How to turn off a heat pump
If you have any trouble with your HVAC system, just let us know. Whether your heat pump runs all the time, or it won’t run at all, we can help! Give us a call at (610) 446-7877, or click here to contact us online!
Heat Pump Not Shutting Off: Five Possible Causes
A clogged air filter is a common reason that a heat pump won’t turn off, and luckily an easily fixable one. Dirt and debris caught in your filter can restrict airflow, causing the system to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. This may prevent the system from cycling off as it struggles to reach the thermostat set point.
How does a heat pump know when to shut off? Well the easy answer is that the thermostat tells it to. The thermostat is the control center for your heating and cooling system.
If it’s malfunctioning or improperly calibrated, it may not signal the HVAC system to turn off. Incorrect settings or a misinterpretation of indoor temperatures can cause the heat pump to run continuously.
This seems obvious, but leaving windows open can also be a reason for a heat pump not shutting off. Open windows will let in the outside air, affecting the indoor temperature. This will lead your heat pump to run continuously to compensate for that outside air.
Broken Relay Switch
The relay switch in a heat pump controls the power flow to the system. If it’s broken or stuck, it could cause the heat pump to keep running. This is because the switch is unable to interrupt the circuit and stop the flow of electricity.
Refrigerant is essential for a heat pump to transfer heat. A leak can cause the system to lose its cooling or heating efficiency, and it will never reach the desired temperature. Instead of giving up, your system will continue to run, because the thermostat is not telling it to shut off.
What to Do When A Heat Pump Won’t Shut Off
Check the Filter
Firstly, inspect the air filter to see if it’s dirty. If it’s clogging up the system, replace or clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A clean filter ensures proper airflow, allowing the heat pump to function correctly.
Check the Thermostat
Check the thermostat settings to ensure they are correct. If the thermostat is old or non-programmable, consider upgrading to a smart thermostat for better accuracy and control.
Inspect the Indoor and Outdoor Units
Make sure there are no obstructions around the indoor and outdoor units. Clear any debris that might be blocking airflow. You could have leaves or sticks that have fallen into your condenser outside that you’ll need to remove. Also, check for any signs of frost or ice buildup, which can be indicative of other issues.
Call a Professional
If the above steps don’t resolve the issue, it’s time to call a professional. Certified HVAC technicians can diagnose and fix more complex problems such as a broken relay switch or refrigerant leak.
How to Turn Off a Heat Pump
If your heat pump won’t shut off and you need to stop it manually, locate the circuit breaker for the heat pump and turn it off. This should be done only as a temporary measure until a professional can assess the situation.
John Cipollone Inc. is the local Broomall, PA heater repair expert. We have been taking care of the heating and cooling systems for homes and businesses in the area for generations and would be happy to help you as well. Give us a call at (610) 446-7877!
Heat Pump Won’t Turn Off: FAQs
Can heat pumps run 24 hours?
Yes, heat pumps can run continuously under certain conditions, such as extreme outdoor temperatures, or if they are sized incorrectly for the space. However, they should cycle off when the desired indoor temperature is reached.
Can you overwork a heat pump?
Overworking a heat pump is possible, especially if it is not maintained properly or if it is too small for the space it’s heating or cooling. Regular maintenance can prevent this issue.
Is a heat pump supposed to cut on and off?
Yes, a heat pump should cycle on and off to maintain the temperature set on the thermostat. If it doesn’t, there may be an issue with the thermostat, the size of the heat pump relative to the space, or other mechanical problems.