Rainforest Plumbing & Air

Page is Loading...

How Long Should a Heat Pump Run?


Heat Pumps are new territory for homeowners and troubleshooting equipment may seem difficult. If your heat pump is switching on and off more regularly, you may need to do some maintenance to ensure your equipment continues running its best.

Posted by Spencer | July 20, 2023 | Reading Time:

Your heat pump works all year long to provide heat in the winter months and cool air in the summer months. It has three different cycles that allow it to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. If your heat pump has a problem, you may notice it running longer than usual or turning off and on frequently.

If your heat pump does not work as well as it should, it may have reached the end of its lifespan. Our team of technicians at Rainforest Plumbing & Air provide professional heat pump installation, ensuring you have a functioning unit that keeps you comfortable year-round. As a bonus your heat pump will likely save you money on your monthly energy bill, compared with traditional heating and cooling equipment.

The Heating Cycle

Even though winter temperatures in Phoenix don’t typically drop as low as in other parts of the country, you still need to heat your home when it gets chilly outside. During the heating cycle, a heat pump brings in outdoor air, heats it, and transfers it into your home, creating a comfortable temperature. 

The Cooling Cycle

A heat pump also works efficiently for cooling your home. It works much like a traditional air conditioner, using refrigerant to absorb heat from the air and transfer it outside, lowering the indoor temperature in a matter of minutes.

The Defrost Cycle

If condensation inside your heat pump freezes in cold weather, it can’t function as it should. During the defrost cycle, your heat pump detects excess moisture and switches to the cooling cycle, sending warm air over the frozen parts and removing condensation. The defrost cycle is a form of self-maintenance that helps the heat pump work efficiently. 

How Long Should Each Cycle Last?

It’s normal for your heat pump to turn on two or three times an hour, whether it's cooling or heating your home. The cycles last at least ten minutes and could last up to 20 minutes, depending on the outdoor temperature.

If the outdoor temperature is extremely hot or cold, the duration of each cycle may change. Paying attention to how long cycles last when your heat pump is in good shape will help you know if it needs repair when it runs longer than usual.

Signs You Need Heat Pump Maintenance 

There are a few clues to watch for that let you know you need to schedule heat pump maintenance. 

Short Cycling

Your heat pump may be "short cycling" if you notice it turning on and off more frequently. As a heat pump ages, it slowly loses efficiency making it turn on and off quickly all day and all night.

Scheduling a maintenance appointment with Rainforest Plumbing and Air can identify the underlying cause of short cycling and let you know if it’s the best choice financially to repair your unit or if you should install a newer model.

Poor Air Temperature 

If your heat pump blows cool air in winter or warm air in summer, it needs some professional attention. Damaged components like a turning valve or condenser fan prevent your heat pump from working properly. Replacing components along the way can help your heat pump work efficiently again before you need to replace it completely.

Refrigerant Leak

You may think discovering a refrigerant leak in winter means you can wait until spring to schedule heat pump repair, but that isn’t the case. Your heat pump uses refrigerant, even in winter, to absorb cool air and transfer it outside. 

If you notice liquid leaking from your heat pump, you could have damaged evaporator coils, which only grow bigger the longer you wait to schedule a professional repair.

Emergency Heat Pump Service in Phoenix

A heat pump in good condition should cycle on and off no more than two or three times per hour. If you notice your heat pump running constantly or not at all, it’s time to schedule professional maintenance.

At Rainforest Plumbing & Air, we provide 24-hour emergency service for homes in Phoenix, AZ, and the nearby areas. Our technicians arrive with tools and equipment to allow them to diagnose and resolve your heat pump issues as quickly as possible. Get in touch with Rainforest Plumbing and Air for fast, friendly and reliable heat pump repair, install or maintenance services in and around Phoenix!

Phone IconBook OnlineOpen Live Chat