heater repair

What to Do When Your Heat Pump Starts Short-Cycling? – Heater Repair

When a heat pump starts short-cycling, it’s a sign that it’s having an issue and needs heater repair. The short-cycling may be caused by a clogged filter or a thermostat that needs to be replaced. If your heat pump is short-cycling, the first step is to contact the manufacturer to determine if it is covered under warranty. If it is not, then the next step is to contact a professional to fix the issue.

In the meantime, there are certain steps you can take to help fix the problem, avoid heater repair and prevent it from happening again.

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is a system that uses electricity to transfer heat from one place to another. Heat pumps move heat from the environment to a mechanical system (air conditioner, furnace, or radiator), from a mechanical system to the environment (dryer or freezer), or even from mechanical systems to mechanical systems.

Symptoms of a heat pump short-cycling problem – Heater Repair

If a heat pump starts short-cycling, you will first notice that it’s running less efficiently than usual. For example, it will start to slow down and slow down again. When a heat pump short cycles, it’s noisy, has a gurgling noise, or won’t run at all. This is because when the heat pump is short-cycling, it’s unable to get the proper amount of refrigerant.

What causes heat pumps short-cycling?

Short-cycling occurs when your heat pump starts and stops continuously and you need heater repair. The heat pump stops and starts more frequently than normal, causing the system to lose its efficiency. Short-cycling is common for heat pumps with older or inefficient compressors. When the compressor stops, ice forms and the compressor overheats.

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What can be done to prevent heat pump short-cycling?

With proper care and maintenance, short cycling can be prevented. Properly maintaining your heat pump is important if you want to minimize short-cycling. Proper maintenance includes:

  • Keeping your system clean and well-maintained
  • Keeping the area around your heat pump free of debris, such as leaves, twigs, and branches
  • Ensuring that the outdoor unit has adequate drainage
  • Ensuring that the indoor heat pump has adequate ventilation
  • Checking refrigerant charge and system pressure regularly
  • Installing a programmable thermostat
  • Have an air conditioner tune-up every year

It is important to regularly inspect your heat pump. Regular maintenance can help prevent electrical systems from becoming overloaded, which can cause short-cycling. If short-cycling occurs, the maintenance checklist above should be reviewed.

What to do if your heat pump short cycles?

If your heat pump is short-cycling, it is important to contact a professional as soon as possible. If your system is not working properly, then it can cause degradation in your equipment and cost you more money in the long run. If the compressor is overheated, then it can cause the system to burst, and result in costly repairs.

If your heat pump is malfunctioning, then it could be caused by:

  • An electrical issue
  • A dirty filter
  • A clogged outdoor unit
  • A defective thermostat
  • A malfunctioning thermostat or wiring

Always reset the thermostat to “off” and then “on.” If resetting the thermostat does not solve the issue, then schedule a call with a professional HVAC technician as soon as possible.


The best thing to do when your heating pump starts short-cycling is to contact a heater repair specialist to figure out what is causing the problem. A technician can check the wiring, capacitors, and the thermal fuse. The technician can also test the pressure in the outdoor unit, and inspect the indoor unit for cracks or leaks. This will help determine why your heat pump is short-cycling.

If your heat pump needs heater repair, contact us today at SoBellas Home Services in El Paso, TX. We offer affordable heat pump repair, and our heat pump repair services are available at your convenience.

The guys in the yellow booties are here for all your air conditioner repair needs, along with expert swamp cooler conversions.  Look to the pros if you have any questions about converting to refrigerated air conditioning with SoBellas.  Call us with questions like, how much does refrigerated air cost or anything about refrigerated air conversion.

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Posted in Heater Repair.