How long should a heat pump run per day

How Long Should a Heat Pump Run Per Day?

Heat pumps are one of the best HVAC systems available thanks to their ability to quickly cycle between heating and cooling as needed or as the weather changes. However, the question of “How long should a heat pump run per day?” often pops up for homeowners.

How many hours a day should a heat pump run?

The main purpose of a heat pump is to draw in warm air to heat your home. Depending on how cold it is inside and what temperature your thermostat is set to, the answer to how long should a heat pump run can change. 

During the fall and spring, your heat pump will only really run for roughly 6 to 8 hours, and that may vary depending on the general temperature of your home and the outdoors. 

During the winter, when the weather gets closer to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, your heat pump needs to work longer and harder to provide heat. In the colder months, a heat pump can run all day long.

How often should a heat pump cycle on and off?

For heat pumps, a cycle refers to the process of taking in heat and releasing it inside. How long should a heat pump run per day and cycle between on and off can change greatly depending on a few key factors. Once again, the overall temperature of the room and the outdoors can affect the number of times a heat pump cycles.

A great way to figure out the answer to this question, though, is to determine an average count of cycles per hour.  

On average, many models of a heat pump cycle roughly 2 to 3 times per hour, meaning it repeats the process of taking in heat and releasing it inside that amount of times. Considering that a heat pump typically runs 24/7 during the winter, you’ll more than likely see 48 to 72 cycles in a day.

Should heat pumps be running all the time?

If you’re in the middle of winter, the answer is yes. As mentioned, it’s normal for your heat pump to constantly be running if the weather is cold enough. Once the temperature drops below 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (or 4 to -1 degrees Celsius), the heat pump needs to be constantly running and drawing in heat to supply warm air. 

However, if you find that it’s running all the time during the summer or during the warmer months of spring and fall, you might have a problem with your heat pump that needs to be checked out and addressed.


Overall, many factors need to be considered when dealing with the question of “How long should a heat pump run per day?”.

If you need your heat pump to be serviced, choose Smart Air! We offer installations, repairs, and replacements to residents in Oklahoma City.