5 Reasons A Heat Pump Won’t Turn Off: Homeowner’s Guide

5 Reasons A Heat Pump Won’t Turn Off: Homeowner’s GuideHeat pumps kick on and off as the temperature fluctuates. In some cases, the heat pump can run at a low and moderate pace to keep the temperature from rising and falling. In other cases, the heat pump won’t turn off, and it’s not a good thing. It’s important to know how your heat pump works to gauge if it should or shouldn’t be running as much as it is. 

We have been installing, servicing, and repairing heat pumps for years, and can usually tell when there is a problem right away. Through years of experience, plus continued training and certifications, I feel pretty confident knowing my way around any heat pump. 

In this article, I’m going to take you through 5 things you should check if your heat pump won’t turn off, what you should do, and when you should call a professional. 

If you are having trouble with your heat pump and would like to speak with an expert right away, call us at (630) 504-8688, or click on the button below to contact us online.

Heat Pump Not Shutting Off: Five Things to Check

If your heat pump is not shutting off, there are a few things you can check yourself without calling in the pros just yet… 

1. Filter Clog

A common reason your heat pump won’t turn off is a clogged filter. When air filters are dirty, they restrict airflow, causing the heat pump to work harder and longer to maintain the desired temperature. If a clogged filter is preventing the airflow, you are never going to get to the desired temperature. This causes the system to run continuously. Regularly check and replace your filters to ensure proper airflow.

2. Thermostat Issues

Thermostat malfunctions can lead to the heat pump not shutting off. Incorrect thermostat settings, a malfunctioning sensor, or wiring issues can cause the heat pump to continuously run. When you have a regular service, make sure the technician looks at the thermostat to ensure it is working properly. 

3. Poor Insulation

Inadequate insulation in your home can be a hidden culprit. Poor insulation leads to heat loss, making the heat pump run continuously to compensate. Check your home’s insulation, especially in areas like the attic, windows, and doors. It may be a good idea to perform a home energy audit to see where you are losing heating or cooling. 

4. Broken Relay Switch

A faulty relay switch in the heat pump can cause it to run incessantly. This switch controls the power flow to the heat pump; if it’s stuck in the ‘on’ position, the heat pump won’t shut off. This issue usually requires you to call in a professional. 

5. Leaking Refrigerant

Low refrigerant levels due to leaks can also cause your heat pump to run continuously. The heat pump struggles to reach the set temperature, leading to it running non-stop. Refrigerant issues are another issue that you should turn to the pros with. 

What to Do When A Heat Pump Won’t Shut Off

How does a heat pump know how to shut off? Usually the thermostat will read that the desired temperature has been reached, and the system shuts off. This is why we are going to check the issues that either prevent the system from reaching the desired temperature, or maybe it’s just not reading it properly. 


If Your Air Filter Is Clogged, It Could Be Causing ProblemsIf your heat pump won’t shut off, first check the air filter. A clogged filter can be cleaned or replaced easily by homeowners. You should be doing this once every few months anyway to keep the air in your home clean and healthy! 


Troubleshoot the thermostat. Ensure it is set correctly and consider replacing the batteries or checking its wiring. If all looks good and you are still having an issue, call in an HVAC technician.

Air Handler

Inspect the air handler for any obstructions or issues. Ensure that it’s functioning properly and that there are no airflow restrictions. If you don’t know what you are looking for, call in a professional. 

Heat Pump

Examine the heat pump unit itself. Check for any visible signs of damage or malfunction. Listen for unusual noises that could indicate a problem. Make sure there are no sticks, leaves, or any debris that is causing problems. 

When to Call a Professional

If you’ve checked these components and the heat pump runs all the time, it’s wise to call a professional. HVAC technicians see these problems every day, and know the solutions to take care of them. 

Turn Off a Heat Pump Manually

If you need to know how to turn off your heat pump manually, locate the circuit breaker or the emergency shut-off switch. Turning off the power source to the heat pump can stop it temporarily while you try and assess the issue. 

Heat Pump Won’t Turn Off: FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions we get when a heat pump won’t turn off. 

Should I Reset My Heat Pump?

Yes, resetting your heat pump can resolve some issues. Turn off the power, wait a few minutes, and then turn it back on. This can recalibrate the system and might fix the problem.

How Do You Diagnose a Heat Pump Problem?

To diagnose a heat pump problem, check  the filter, thermostat, insulation, relay switch, and refrigerant levels. Listen for unusual noises and observe if the unit cycles off at all.

What Is the Most Common Problem with a Heat Pump?

The most common problem heat pumps run into are issues with airflow, such as clogged filters or blocked vents. These can cause the heat pump to run inefficiently or constantly.

If you need some help with your heat pump, give us a call at (630) 504-8688, or click here to contact us online!