Why Your Heat Pump Runs All The Time… And What to Do About It


Heat pumps are different than forced-air furnaces or radiated heating, and many people have questions about how they’re supposed to run. We get a lot of calls from customers with concerns regarding their heat pump, only to arrive and find the unit is operating as expected.

In this post, we want to call-out reasons why your heat pump may be running all the time and what to do about it if it is.

Before Calling Us to Assess Your Heat Pump, Check These Common Troubleshooting Items First

We want to provide our customers with a great experience, and part of that is coming when we’re needed! Before giving us a call, check these common items first to make sure that you actually need one of our technicians to come to your home before booking the service call.

Check Your Thermostat & Make Sure it is Set Appropriately

A common reason we come to service a perfectly running heat pump is because the thermostat is set incorrectly. Setting it too low in the summer or too high in the winter will have your pump running constantly.

Check it out and make sure it’s set as appropriate. Note that your thermostat should not be set to emergency heat mode.

Check to Validate That Your Filters Are Clean

Heat pumps need a healthy supply of fresh, clean air in order to do their job at their best. Clogged filters can cause the heat pump to have to work overtime to do its job, and that can result in a pump that seems to run continuously.

Check your filters. If it’s time to replace them, toss the old ones and swap in a new one. Filters are inexpensive and can be purchased from nearly any hardware store- just check that the store you’re going has the right filter for your make and model of heat pump.

Check Your Condensate Pump

If your condensate pump – which is responsible for pumping water generated from the heat pump – is non-functional, your heat pump will behave irregularly as a result. This can be due to the condensate pump simply being unplugged, or if the pump has a malfunction that needs to be addressed.

Check the Outside Unit

If your outside unit is not running, try to engage it via the thermostat. Do not set the thermostat to emergency heat mode to do this.

If the outside unit fails to engage from the thermostat, verify that the circuit it is on has the appropriate fuses/breaker configuration and that the fuse/breaker isn’t blown or tripped.

If your outside unit will not turn on, give us a call- that’s when you need us!

Heat Pumps Are Designed to Run Continuously… for the Right Reasons

If you’ve recently added a heat pump to your home, or moved to a home with a heat pump, you may not be aware that heat pumps are actually designed to run pretty consistently. This is partly what makes heat pumps so efficient.

In warmer temperatures (above 40 degrees), the heat pump should cycle on/off as needed (not dissimilar to a forced-air furnace). However, once we get to freezing temperatures, the heat pump should run almost constantly (as more work is required to keep your home comfortable).

However, if your heat pump compressor has failed, the outside fan may be running constantly. If this is the case, the first indication someone is wrong may be on your next utility bill (when your heating and electric bills spike because of the combined use of your backup heat and heat pump fan).

Having Heat Pump Problems? Call Vito Services Your Local Experts!

When it comes to fixing broken heat pumps, the expert HVAC technicians you can count on, are Vito Services. After all, we’ve been keeping the Metro area warm for over 80 years!

24/7 Emergency Availability
866-792-7154
24/7 Emergency Availability
866-792-7154