Two Heat Pumps Outside House

My Heat Pump Doesn’t Stay On Long Enough in Durham, NC

April 26, 2024

Short cycling occurs when a heat pump turns off before it has completed a proper cycle, and it’s one of the most annoying and potentially damaging things that these systems can do. To save themselves a great deal of trouble, homeowners in Durham, NC should know why such behaviors occur. Here are some reasons why your heat pump might not stay on long enough.

It’s Too Large

For a heat pump to perform optimally in a given building, it must be the appropriate size for that building. If it isn’t, all sorts of problems will likely follow. Specifically, if its too large for the building that it’s in, it may not fully cool, heat, or dehumidify that building before its cycle stops, leading to short cycling.

The only way to avoid this situation is to make sure that the HVAC technicians installing your heat pump perform an accurate manual J load calculation before getting to work. This will ensure that you’ll have the correctly sized system. If your system is already in place, you may have to reinstall a smaller system to end the short cycling.

Poor Airflow

If air doesn’t flow properly through your system, this can cause a legion of difficulties, and short cycling is one of them. To prevent poor airflow from leading to short cycling, remember to change or clean your heat pump’s air filters at least once every 90 days. Also, be sure to arrange for professional maintenance at least once per year so that a technician may clean your system’s critical parts and keep the air moving.


On average, air-source heat pumps have service lives of about 15 years, and the corresponding figure for geothermal heat pumps can be over 25 years, with in-ground parts lasting up to 50 years. If repairs and maintenance can’t seem to make the short cycling stop, then your system may simply be too old. It’s probably time to replace it.

When you notice your heat pump short cycling, take immediate action. Call Lee Air Conditioning and schedule heat pump services in Durham, NC today.

Image provided by iStock

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