Why Is My Heat Pump Constantly Running? | Thiele

Why Is My Heat Pump Constantly Running?

Why Is My Heat Pump Constantly Running?

With the rise in demand for energy-efficient heat pumps, many companies install equipment without properly educating homeowners on how the new appliance works. When installing a new heat pump or when you move into a home with a heat pump, talking with the experts at Thiele Heating and Air Conditioning helps you know what to expect and when to call for our repair services. We are specialists in using and maintaining your heat pump including a comprehensive guide.

One of the most common questions asked about heat pumps is why a heat pump is running constantly on cold days. When temperatures are mild in spring and summer, a heat pump running constantly may indicate issues within the HVAC system that require repair. During cooling mode, this issue often indicates a call to our team. When outdoor temperatures fall below 30 degrees during winter months, a heat pump may run continuously to optimize efficiency. Most homeowners are accustomed to appliances that run through cycles like conventional gas furnaces and air conditioners. Understanding how a heat pump operates helps explain why your heat pump runs constantly on cold days and nights. You also can gain perspective on what to check to keep your heat pump performing efficiently and when to call in the professionals for repairs.

How a Heat Pump Works

In central Indiana air to air heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps are growing in popularity. During heat mode, your heat pump concentrates energy from outside air or the ground outside your home and transfers the heat into your home. Modern heat pumps can reduce electricity use for heating by approximately 50% compared to conventional furnaces.

While furnaces burn gas or oil generating heat that is transferred into the air within your home, heat pumps do not create heat. During heat mode, heat pumps use a compressor to capture heat stored in outdoor air or the ground. When temperatures are above 30 degrees a heat pump will run through cycles similar to a furnace or air conditioner. As temperatures fall below 30 degrees, the heat pump is most efficient when running continuously. If temperatures are comfortable within your home and the system runs properly, you may not need service.

One of the simplest ways to check the health of your heat pump is to compare energy usage on your electric bill to the prior year. Sudden spikes in energy usage from January of the current year to the prior January help you know if your heat pump is working inefficiently and needs repairs.

How To Know Your Heat Pump Needs Repair

Heat pumps are exceptionally efficient appliances but require proper maintenance. Regular maintenance of heat pumps should be performed each spring and fall. These inspections test the cooling system, thermostat setting calibration, and heating system. Common causes of heat pumps running excessively are often connected to neglect and lack of maintenance. When you partner with the heat pump experts at Thiele, our professional HVAC technicians keep your heating and cooling systems running properly.

Primary issues that require heat pump repair include:

  • Operating in cooling mode
  • Damaged compressor
  • Malfunctioning reverse valve
  • Refrigerant levels low or flow restrictions
  • Undersized equipment and/or ductwork
  • Dirty filters and clogged components

What to check before calling Thiele

Shutdown system

Shutting the system off and restarting the heat pump may be helpful before you check the outdoor unit, air filter, and test the thermostat. This allows you to safely work through the following steps and restart the system once you finish.

Ice On Outdoor Unit

Ice, snow, dirt, and debris should be removed from the heat pump as soon as possible. A system that ices up may be due to a malfunction within the system.

Dirty Or Clogged Air Filter

One of the most common causes of issues and simplest repairs are air filters. Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.


Issues within the thermostat often present in excessive running, sudden system surges, and shutdowns. Checking the thermostat settings and modes may reveal the fault is within the thermostat instead of the heat pump.

Contact Heat Pump Experts

Thiele Heating and Air Conditioning provide expert maintenance and heat pump repair. If you suspect your system is not working properly contact our team as soon as possible. Our team makes sure your winter comfort is stable with careful and experienced service. Our extensive knowledge and attention to your unique concerns bring Indiana homeowners comfort in cold weather. Whether you need maintenance or repair of your heat pump contact us for more help.