If your heat pump runs 24/7 during the winter, you might be wondering whether this is normal. Not all homes feature a furnace. While furnaces are undoubtedly popular, many homes now feature a heat pump.
Heat pumps are centralized heating and cooling systems that transfer or “pump” heat from one place to another place. They typically feature an indoor coil and an outdoor coil. A heat pump can warm your home during the winter by transferring heat from the outdoor coil to the indoor coil. So, is it normal for a heat pump to run all the time during the winter?
Thermostat Temperature Setting Is Too High
If the temperature setting on your thermostat is too high, your heat pump will run for an extended period during the winter. It may not necessarily run all day long. Nonetheless, the higher the temperature setting in relation to the actual indoor temperature, the longer your heat pump will run. This is completely normal, as your heat pump won’t stop running until it has achieved the thermostat temperature.
It’s Too Cold Outside
Your heat pump may run continuously during the winter if it’s excessively cold outside. Heat pumps can operate in both warm and cold weather. During the summer, you can cool your home with a heat pump by setting it to the “cooling” mode. During the winter, you can warm your home with a heat pump by setting it to “heating” mode.
When set to “heating” mode, your heat pump will extract heat from the outdoor air. It will absorb this heat into coolant at the outdoor coil, and it will transfer the hot coolant to the indoor coil inside of your home. But the outdoor temperature will affect your heat pump’s performance during the winter. If it’s excessively cold outside, your heat pump may struggle to meet your heating demands.
If your heat pump is undersized, it may run continuously during the winter. Heat pump sizes are measured in tonnage or British Thermal Units (BTUs). Your heat pump needs to be big enough to effectively warm your home. If it’s too small, it may run continuously.
Undersized heat pump units lack the heating power of their properly sized counterpart. If your heat pump is undersized, you should consider replacing it with a larger unit.