Heat Pump Reaches Temp but Keeps Running

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Last Updated on May 15, 2022 by Alexander A. Smith

Heat pumps are good at doing what they’re meant to do, but when it comes to maintenance, they can be a real headache. If you’re having trouble heating up your home this winter, it might not be time to shovel out the old radiators. It could be that your heat pump reaches temp but keeps running. Normally, it would turn off when it reaches the desired temperature. But if your indoor air is too cool, the thermostat doesn’t sense that heat got distributed throughout the room. This can get caused by a faulty thermostat or a dirty filter.

Testing the problem

A dirty air filter can prevent the temperature control from sensing air temperature. One cause could be dust and dirt buildup causing the temperature to not reach your set point. If this is the case, it won’t continue to burn and waste energy if you change it out.

To test for this problem, check the voltage at the thermostat while the heat pump unit is running. If the voltage gets up to 13.5v, this means that the current will flow to the heat pump unit. If it stays at 12.0v or lower, then your thermostat is not sensing that your system is running.

If the thermostat isn’t sensing that air temperature has reached the setpoint. You should check air filters to check if they are dirty or blocked. If the filters are clear of obstructed airflow, you should run the heat pump again with it uncovered. This is to make sure that if there is a problem with the filters, it will be evident when they got removed.

If your air filter is clean but the thermostat still does not sense when your heat pump stops running. You can try turning the thermostat’s temp setting down by 5 degrees. Then test to see if it senses that your heat pump stops running. If it does, you should try turning it back up and see if the problem continues to occur.

If the heat pump turns off and on again every few minutes. But the thermostat is still not letting it stop running. Then check to make sure that your power supply to your home isn’t cutting off. Then, you should check all electrical connections to see if they’re as tight as possible. If you’re still having problems. Then it could be that this issue is occurring because of a faulty heat pump compressor. The heat pump should not continuously run when the temperature is above 50 degrees. So this could be your problem.

If your heat pump continues to run when it’s at the set temperature. You might want help from a heating system technician. He will be able to make sure that everything is working properly and fix whatever is causing the problem.

How long should AC run after reaching temperature?

That depends on your needs. If you need to cool the room quickly. Then it should run for at least 30 minutes after reaching the temperature.

If you wanted a more gradual temperature change, then it can run for a few hours before shutting off. A misconception of AC is that they need to run, to maintain a certain temperature. In fact, if you have a programmable thermostat, the system only runs when the front door or windows are open. Or if you manually adjust your temperature.

If your AC isn’t working, look at the thermostat’s display. That will tell you the current temperature and the desired temperature. The display also will show if it is running or if it has shut off. If the fan comes on but it appears that the unit isn’t cooling properly. Then investigating further may be necessary.

When you first install your AC, the outdoor unit should run for at least 15 minutes before the indoor unit kicks on. This allows for ample time for the unit to get up to its set temperature. Then put it into a preset mode that is suitable for you.

If your system isn’t cooling properly, start by checking the thermostat’s settings. If it isn’t on “AUTO” or “COOL,” then you’ll want to try adjusting the setting and see if this helps. If not, then you should check your filter to see if it is full of dust or debris. If so, remove the filter and clean it out.

If this doesn’t seem to be the problem, then you should check the settings on the thermostat itself. Make sure to set it to “cool” and not “fan.” This will ensure that your unit isn’t running in a different mode than what you intended for it to run in.

If you’ve already changed the settings and you’ve cleaned your filter. Then it may need to schedule a service call. Your units may need to be reset or you may need to replace any part. Air conditioners use an outdoor compressor. That is one of the very important parts of the system. If it’s not working properly, this can affect many things such as airflow and noise levels.

How long should AC run after reaching temperature?

How many hours a day should a heat pump run?

Heat pumps should run for at least 15 minutes after they reached the desired temperature. If your heat pump keeps turning off and on again every couple of minutes. It could be because your power supply to your home isn’t cutting off. (this is usually caused by overloading, faulty voltage components, or a power surge).

If you aren’t sure if the heat pump still works properly. You’ll want to check the display on the thermostat itself. It will tell you if your unit is running or turned off. If the fan comes on but it appears that it isn’t cooling properly. Then investigating further may be necessary.

Check your filters. If they are dirty, make sure you change them every month or so especially if you have many units in one area.


thermostat's faq

Do heat pumps really save money?

The average person uses 67% of their heat pump energy during the winter and 33% in the summer months. There may also be potential savings off of utility bills.

What does it mean if my heat pump has a yellow light?

Yellow lights on your thermostat can indicate that your system is malfunctioning. This may get caused by a failed capacitor, transformer, or overload protection device.

Can you paint a heat pump?

Yes, but it is not recommended to do so.

Do I need to hire a professional for my heat pump maintenance?

This depends on your needs. If you want to make sure that the system is working properly and that it’s safe to use. Then, yes, hiring a professional is highly recommended.


Every heat pump got programmed to run as long as it is set to its desired temperature. If the heat pump got placed in “on” mode. The heat pump automatically keeps the house at a comfortable temperature. But if the thermostat is set “off”. This means that it will continue to run even when your room reaches a desirable temperature. (or depending on how it got programmed).

It is not uncommon that a heat pump reaches temp but keeps running. Especially during the winter months. When the house gets much cooler than the thermostat set point. This is normal and nothing to have to worry about it.

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