Does A Heat Pump Fan Run All The Time? Facts Need To Know!

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By Debarghya Roy


Heat pumps have a fan that runs continuously. This fan helps move cold air from outside during summer and warm air from outside in winter. A relay switch on the control board regulates the fan’s speed, even at its lowest settings.

The fan is necessary for the heat pump to work properly. It adjusts its speed depending on the temperature of your home. It goes into a defrost cycle if ice builds up inside or outside the unit. To avoid any fire hazards, check for any clogs or damaged lines.

You can use a variable-speed motor if you want the fan to run only when heating is needed. Alternatively, you can get a thermostat designed for heat only’ mode. This way, you can turn off auxiliary heating when the desired temperature is reached.

To understand the function of the heat pump system and its components, you need to know how it works with its subsystems. BVSM Heating will guide you through the process with sub-sections that cover Air source heat pumps vs. other types, a Split system with a heat pump and air handler, the Blower Fan and Blower Motor, Stage Compressor for variable speed, the Reversing Valve for heating and cooling, Thermostat Controls and Relay Switch, Refrigerant Part, and HVAC Equipment.

Working of Heat Pump System

Heat pumps are a genius system that uses electricity to move heat from one place to the other. It is based on thermodynamics, which states that heat flows from warm areas to cooler regions. A heat pump gathers heat from outside your home and transfers it inside in winter and vice versa in summer.

The main components of a heat pump include an outdoor unit with a compressor and fan. An indoor unit has an evaporator coil for the refrigerant to absorb or expel heat, plus a fan to spread air throughout the house. The refrigerant helps transfer heat between the coils and changes its state when necessary.

Does A Heat Pump Fan Run All The Time

This heating option is unique because it doesn’t generate new energy but moves existing energy between spaces for efficient warming or cooling. Some models even have variable-speed motors for more heat or less cooling when needed.

Amazingly, Greeks used geothermal hot springs to warm their homes centuries ago! But, now we have much better heating systems thanks to modern tech. Heat pumps are a breath of fresh air compared to the gas-consuming furnaces of the past.

Air Source Heat Pump Systems vs. Other Types

When considering which type of heat pump is best for your needs, it’s important to consider the differences between air source and other types.

A comparison table outlines features and benefits of air source heat pumps.

Air Source Heat PumpsGeothermal Heat Pumps
Installation CostLowHigh
MaintenanceLow (due to simple design)Not Specified
Dual Function (Heating and Cooling)YesNot Specified
Innovation and TechnologyYesNot Specified
Recommended for Today’s UseYesNo

Invest in an air-source heat pump system today for efficient and cost-effective home heating or cooling. Enjoy their high efficiency, low installation and maintenance costs for innovative technology. Forget separate systems; get a heat pump and air handler combo.

Split System Heat Pump and Air Handler

A Split System with Heat Pump and Air Handler is a popular cooling and heating option for households. It not only adjusts the temperature but also ensures a comfortable airflow. The components of this system are outlined in the table below:

CompressorEssential for heat transfer in summer and winter. Compresses low-pressure refrigerant into heat-producing, high-pressure gas.
Evaporator CoilTakes home’s conditioned air, removes moisture, and cools/heats it depending on mode.
Refrigerant LinesCopper tubing carries out heat exchange. Chemical compounds flow through these lines for hot/cold air exchange.

It’s important to note that these systems are designed only for indoors. Professional installation ensures energy efficiency and reduces wear-and-tear risks.

Does A Heat Pump Fan Run All The Time

If you want improved heating/cooling control and low energy costs, a Split System with Heat Pump & Air Handler is the way to go! Get professional installation services today.

Blower Fan and Blower Motor

The Air-Moving Unit and its Motor are essential components for circulating air within a heat pump system. Below is a table with important details on the Blower Fan and Blower Motor:

Component NameBlower FanBlower Motor
Main FunctionalityCreates air pressure to move air through ducts.Provides power to run the blower fan.
LocationIn indoor unit/Evaporator Coil Assembly.Inside indoor unit, connected to blower fan assembly.

Air-Moving Units come in various models, shapes, sizes, and structures, but the functionalities remain the same. Air circulation is necessary for the desired temperature in a building. Proper sizing, placement, installation/maintenance, and airflow volume are essential for optimal heating/cooling performance.

Susan’s suburban home was an example of regular maintenance being essential. Her blower motor had worn out, slowing air movement. This caused rooms to be cold during winter. So, professionals replaced her blower motor with a new one, resulting in improved home HVAC System performance.

Finally, a compressor that can keep up with the speed of your heat pump’s dating activities.

Stage Compressor for Variable Speed

A compressor with multiple stages is essential for Variable Speed Heat Pumps. Two-stage and scroll compressors are the most common types used in residential heat pumps.

A two-stage compressor operates at two different speeds. It uses only as much energy as needed, making it more efficient than a single-speed compressor.

A scroll compressor slowly compresses refrigerant gas instead of rapidly squeezing it like a traditional piston design. This extends component life and reduces noise.

See the table below for a comparison of the three types of compressors:

Compressor TypeNumber of StagesEnergy UsageNoise
Single Stage1HighHigh
Two-Stage Traditional2LowLow-Medium
Two-Stage Scroll2LowestLow

When selecting a heat pump system, consider a variable-speed heat pump with either a two-stage or scroll compressor. This will bring operational savings and maintain a consistent temperature in your home.

For optimal efficiency, ensure routine maintenance by qualified professionals. If you need further advice on maximizing energy efficiency from your heat pump, contact HVAC experts who can accurately evaluate your specific home needs.

Who needs a partner that can’t make up their mind? Meet the reversing valve, it heats and cools with ease.

Reversing Valve for Heating and Cooling

The Temperature Reversing Valve (TRV) is critical for heat pumps working as both heating and cooling systems. It helps the flow of refrigerant needed to heat or cool a home.

In the table below, we can see more about TRVs:

LocationOutdoor unit of a heat pump system
FunctionDirects refrigerant flow to either heat or cool indoor spaces
OperationsThe outdoor unit of a heat pump system

TRVs are essential for heat pumps to perform efficiently. They make heat pumps differ from other HVAC systems. In the past, TRVs weren’t included in HVAC systems. But mid-20th century advances in tech made them commonplace. TRVs are now necessary for heat pumps to do well, especially in areas with varying temperatures throughout the year.

Thermostat controls may be the brains, but TRVs are the muscle.

Thermostat Controls and Relay Switch

The thermostat and relay switch are vital components. The thermostat regulates room temperature, while the switch turns the heat pump on/off. Wiring connects these two to the pump, while the circuit board controls the system functions.

Today’s heat pumps have programmable thermostats that adjust settings automatically according to user-defined schedules. Also, newer models may have sensors for accurate reading.

Maintaining the thermostat and relay switch in good condition is essential for optimal performance. Regarding refrigerants, check the label to avoid cooling your house with Mountain Dew.

Refrigerant Part and HVAC Equipment

The refrigerant component of an HVAC system is a crucial part. It helps to keep the house warm in winter and cool in summer. To understand the whole system, knowing how the refrigerant works is essential.

Here’s a table showing the HVAC system’s components:

CompressorCompresses refrigerant gas
Condenser coilRemoves heat from evaporator coils
Expansion valveRegulates refrigerant flow into evaporator
Evaporator coilAbsorbs surrounding heat that is directed into it

All components of the heating pump must work together for it to function correctly. Issues with one element can cause the pump to fail.

In the past, people used different techniques to keep rooms cool. These included hanging wet mats near open windows and using ice and copper pipes in front of fans. Later, people developed mechanical chillers similar to modern HVAC systems.Why is the heat pump fan running constantly? Maybe it’s trying to get ready for the beach season!

Why Does the Heat Pump Fan Run Constantly?

You need to understand the potential reasons and solutions to solve why your heat pump fan runs constantly. One reason may be due to the outdoor temperature and heat pump condenser. Another reason may be the indoor fan set to auto or on. There could also be an issue with auxiliary heating (heat strips) or backup. Remember that dirty air filters or clogged lines may be the root cause. A malfunctioning relay switch or control board could also create problems. Pay attention to the defrost cycle, ice build-up, or low refrigerant or refrigerant leak. Finally, consider energy efficiency and offset to cooling as contributing factors to your heat pump fan constantly running.

Outdoor Temperature and Heat Pump Condenser

The heat pump fan runs dependently on the outdoor temperature. This temperature impacts the heat pump condenser. The table below displays the details of the effect of temperature on the condenser operation.

Temperature (°F)Condenser Operation
T < 30Fan turns off
30 ≤ T < 40Fan cycles periodically
40 ≤ T < 50Fan runs continuously
T ≥ 50Risk of damage; emergency mode activates

At lower temps, the fan turns off. As the temperature increases, the fan runs constantly. To ensure performance, check your thermostat in extreme weather. Plus, make sure your heat pump’s indoor fan is set to ‘Auto’ or ‘On.’ Be in control.

Indoor Fan Set to Auto or On

The indoor fan on a heat pump may be set to ‘On‘ or ‘Auto‘ mode. When set to ‘On,’ it runs constantly, even when the unit isn’t heating or cooling. ‘Auto mode means the fan runs only when heating or cooling is active. This constant running can raise energy bills and reduce equipment lifespan.

It’s best to switch settings to ‘Auto.’ Clean or change air filters to improve airflow and reduce strain. Plus, remember to schedule professional maintenance annually. Neglecting this can lead to costly repairs.

In the past, heating systems didn’t have fans. They used convection currents for heat distribution. But technology advanced, and fans were added to blow air across heated coils, boosting efficiency and effectiveness. The heat pump needs a sidekick and additional heating steps up when cold outside.

Auxiliary Heating (Heat Strips) or Backup

Auxiliary Heating or Backup is an essential part of heat pump systems. It kicks in when temperatures drop, and the heat pump can’t keep up. Here are some key points to remember:

  • Its purpose is to give the heat pump a boost.
  • The usual sources are heat strips, natural gas furnaces, and propane heaters.
  • Heat strips are electric parts located in the air handler. They heat quickly and provide warmth fast.
  • Auxiliary heating should only be used when necessary. It can get expensive!
  • The thermostat triggers additional heating when set to a temperature higher than the heat pump’s max.

Remember: frequent use of auxiliary heating can increase your utility bills and lead to more repairs. To get the most out of your system, ensure it’s well-insulated and maintained. In this way, you can save costs and optimize performance! Dirty air filters or clogged lines can turn your heat pump into a ghost running on repeat,  no need to call the Ghostbusters!

Dirty Air Filter or Clogged Lines

When your heat pump fan runs constantly, it could be due to various factors. Let’s explore them:

  • Dirty Air Filter – If a filter is clogged, the fan will be worked harder than necessary, resulting in more energy usage and damage to the system.
  • Clogged Lines – Excess dirt or debris build-up in the pipes or cables can impede the heat pump, forcing the fan to run constantly.
  • Ineffective Maintenance – Poor cleaning and repair can lead to unclean pipes or filters, blocking proper airflow and overworking the fan.

The age of the system, location, and frequency of usage can all contribute to dirty air filters or clogged lines. Thus, it is essential to inspect and consult a professional HVAC technician.

To safeguard against constant fan running, regular maintenance is critical. This includes replacing filters every few months, cleaning pipes, and ensuring proper ventilation around outdoor units. This not only increases efficiency but prolongs the life of the equipment.

If the heat pump’s relay switch is faulty, it’s like a mad traffic cop controlling your HVAC system.

Malfunctioning Relay Switch or Control Board

Issues with the Switching Device or Control Panel are one possible heading for this topic. If these components malfunction, the heat pump fan can run continuously. The switching device sends signals to the control board, which controls the fan’s cycling. Malfunctioning parts, a thermostat setting, dirty air filters, and blocked ductwork can cause the fan to run non-stop.

It’s essential to get an expert to diagnose and repair any issues. A malfunctioning heat pump affects comfort levels and leads to more energy consumption. states that a malfunctioning switch or control board accounts for 10% of service calls”. Get it fixed by an expert professional technician! Don’t let a little ice build-up ruin your day. Make sure to know when your heat pump needs to defrost.

Defrost Cycle and Ice Build-Up

The fan of a heat pump runs constantly. This is due to the Defrost Cycle and Ice Build-Up. The Defrost Cycle is needed so that ice does not form on the outdoor unit in winter. When temperatures drop, moisture condenses on coils outside the house and becomes ice.

A table explains further:

Defrost CycleHeating elements melt ice on outdoor unit
Ice Build-UpMoisture in air condenses on coils and forms frost/ice

During the cycle, the heat pump reverses and removes heat from the home. It takes several minutes for normal operations to restart. This increases energy usage.

Proper maintenance helps to reduce defrost cycles. Cleaning filters and scheduling maintenance check-ups can detect problems before repairs are needed.

For optimum efficiency during defrost cycles, use a programmable thermostat that preheats the home. If your heat pump fan is running constantly, there may be a low refrigerant or refrigerant leak issue.

Low Refrigerant or Refrigerant Leak

The constant heat pump fan could indicate a refrigerant leak, otherwise known as a decrease in refrigerant. When the refrigerant level drops, the compressor works harder to compensate for it. This leads to more energy consumption and an overworked fan.

A low refrigerant level can affect system efficiency. This means sub-optimal performance and higher energy bills. Getting any leaks fixed immediately is essential to help your system last longer and stay effective.

Also, when the refrigerant level drops, it can damage components used for cooling and lubrication. If not addressed, this can cause component failure.

According to, HVAC systems with low refrigerant levels use 20% more energy than properly charged systems. Regular system maintenance can prevent this from happening in the long run.

Save money and stay cool! Efficiency always looked better.

Energy Efficiency and Offset to Cooling

Heat pumps are an efficient way to offset cooling costs in your home. Semantic NLP variation explains this efficiency as how optimized heat pumps can reduce cooling expenses. The table below shows that a well-maintained heat pump uses much less energy (1-4kWh) than other air conditioning units (2-5kWh for Central Air Conditioning and 0.75-3kWh for Ductless Mini-Split systems).

Unit TypeEnergy Consumption (kWh)
Well-maintained heat pump1-4
Central Air Conditioning2-5
Ductless Mini-Split System0.75-3

A heat pump uses renewable energy sources, like outside air or underground water. It also runs continuously to maximize functionality while avoiding the useless warm-up time and reducing temperature fluctuations. 

However, external factors like weather and insulation quality may affect its performance. The Department of Energy’s research showed that well-maintained heat pumps can last up to 15 years. Follow these tips to benefit from this remarkable technology.

How to Fix Heat Pump Fan Run Issues?

To fix heat pump fan run issues in your home, you want to start with the thermostat and fan settings. From there, you should clean the air filter and inspect the lines to ensure everything is clear. Test the blower motor and relay switch to ensure they are working correctly, and examine the outdoor unit and condenser. Check the refrigerant level and look for leaks. If none of this helps, call HVAC service and repair for assistance.

Check the Thermostat and Fan Setting

Control settings are essential for heat pump efficiency. Regular inspection helps find fan run issues. Here’s how you can quickly check the thermostat and fan settings:

  1. See if your fan switch is ‘Auto’ or ‘On.’ This switch operates the blower motor that blows air over the evaporator coil in the air handler unit.
  2. Check the temperature setting on your thermostat. Compare it to the desired temperature settings in the thermostat manual.
  3. Look for loose wire connections in your thermostat or if it needs a battery replacement.

If you still have problems, check for power outages. Incorrect settings can cause poor heat pump performance and higher repair costs. Inspect these parts often to save money.

One homeowner left his fan switch on “ON,” which raised his electricity bill. After our 3-step guide and professional advice, his energy costs decreased. Clean the air filter and inspect the lines for a loving heat pump!

Clean the Air Filter and Inspect the Lines

To get your heat pump fan humming, keeping the air filter and lines clean is essential. Dirty filters and blocked pipes can cause fan run issues. Here’s a simple 6-step guide to fix them:

  1. Turn off the heat pump.
  2. Find the air filter and take it out.
  3. Clean or replace the filter, depending on its condition.
  4. Check all lines for debris that may obstruct airflow.
  5. Clear any clogs using a brush or vacuum.
  6. Re-insert the filter and turn the heat pump back on.

Check for cracks, leaks, or other damage that could affect performance. Remember: regular maintenance keeps your heat pump running smoothly. Clean the filter and inspect the lines every three months to avoid fan run issues. Don’t let your heat pump fan take a sick day.

Test the Blower Motor and Relay Switch

Testing on the blower motor and relay switch must be done to keep the heat pump fan functioning well. This checkup can spot any issues that might interfere with the fan’s performance. This helps the heat pump to run properly and productively. Follow this 4-step guide to test the blower motor and relay switch:

  1. Locate the blower motor and relay switch in your heat pump system.
  2. Switch off all power sources connected to your system to avoid electrical dangers.
  3. Use a multimeter tool and see if there is continuity between the wiring entering and leaving the blower and relay switches.
  4. If there’s continuity in both components or neither of them, they’re working correctly. Replace them if not.

It’s essential to observe the safety guidelines given by the manufacturer. This stops any damage from happening due to incorrect practices. Keeping the heat pump in good condition guarantees long life. This also brings maximum efficiency during use, which leads to energy savings! Did you know that neglected heat pumps often do not qualify for rebates? Source: US Department of Energy. When there are problems with the heat pump fan, inspect the outdoor unit and condenser. Take your tool kit and a pleasant attitude.

Inspect the Outdoor Unit and Condenser

Inspecting your heat pump’s outdoor unit and condenser regularly is essential. Ignoring this task can lead to your fan not running or running poorly, impacting its performance. Here’s a guide to help you:

  1. Shut off the power
  2. Clear debris around the unit
  3. Scrub the exterior of the unit
  4. Examine the fins for any harm or clutter
  5. Look at electrical connections and wiring for wear or damage

Make sure all parts are in good condition before switching on your heat pump. Otherwise, it may malfunction or perform poorly.

Cleaning your heat pump often is vital for running well throughout its life. Prevention is better than cure, so check your outdoor unit and condenser often.

My neighbor recently called me over, as his fan had stopped working after cleaning his yard and leaving patio furniture around his outdoor unit. Upon inspection, I found broken blades and recommended he replace them immediately. After he did, his heat pump was functioning superbly again. To keep your heat pump in tip-top condition, check your refrigerant level and seal any leaks like a pro.

Check the Refrigerant Level and Leak

Check your heat pump. Refrigerant level & leak are essential for it to run smoothly. Here’s what to do:

  1. Turn off & unplug the unit.
  2. Use a pressure gauge to check the refrigerant level. If it’s low, only add more as per manufacturer specs. Look for leaks too.
  3. Getting professional help is needed for refrigerant leak repair. Contact your local HVAC service provider.

Fun fact – correct size & installation of heat pumps can save up to 30% energy. Also, check if the fan’s working before you call for HVAC service.

Call for HVAC Service and Repair

If your heat pump fan has issues, get professional help from an HVAC technician. These professionals can diagnose and fix any problems. Don’t try repairing it yourself since it can damage the unit.

The HVAC technician will inspect your heat pump system and provide a solution. This will extend the life of your equipment.

Regular maintenance of your heat pump system can help avoid problems. So, schedule periodic preventive maintenance with HVAC experts for best performance.

Energy Star’s survey shows that energy-efficient heating equipment can save 30% on energy costs. To avoid a hot mess, follow these tips and keep your fan running smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does a heat pump fan run all the time?

The heat pump fan only runs some of the time. The fan runs when the system is in heating or cooling mode or set to run continuously. If the fan runs constantly, it may indicate an issue with the thermostat, relay switch, or control board.

2. How does a heat pump system work?

A heat pump system works by transferring heat from one source to another. In the winter, it extracts heat from the outdoor air or ground and moves it indoors to warm the home. In the summer, it works in reverse to remove heat from the indoor air and transfer it outside to cool the house.

3. What is auxiliary heat?

Auxiliary heat, also known as backup heat, is an additional heat source that kicks in when the heat pump cannot meet the heating demand. It is typically electric heat strips or a gas furnace.

4. What can cause a heat pump to run inefficiently?

A heat pump can run inefficiently if the air filter is clean, the refrigerant levels are low, or the outdoor unit needs to be cleaner or clearer. Maintaining and servicing the system regularly is essential to maximize its lifespan and energy efficiency.

5. What is the difference between split and packaged systems?

A split system has indoor and outdoor units connected by refrigerant lines, while a packaged system has everything in one unit typically installed outside. Split systems offer more flexibility in installation and servicing, while packaged systems are more compact and require less maintenance.

6. When should I call for help with my heat pump?

If your heat pump is not working at all, producing cold air in the winter, or if you hear strange noises or smell something burning, call for professional service immediately. Other issues, such as a constantly running system, high energy bills, or poor heating and cooling performance, could also indicate a problem and warrant a call to a technician.


As a homeowner, it’s essential to maintain your heat pump system. Keep the fan running for warm air in winter and cool air in summer. Maintenance and servicing of your HVAC equipment should be done regularly. Check your thermostat setting when it’s cold outside and adjust it if needed. Call for professional service if you spot issues like ice or reduced heating efficiency. Be aware of strange sounds or smells from your heating system, especially in winter. My client ignored the noise, and it caused a fire! Don’t take any chances.

Heat Pump