Your heat pump is an important part of your home because it produces year-round comfort. But, like any home comfort system, it’s certain to have some problems once in a while.

Let’s go over these troubles and how much they might cost to repair, so you’ll have some idea before you call an HVAC technician. Some of the most likely heat pump repair problems include:

  • Heat pump won’t turn on
  • Heat pump won’t turn off
  • Heat pump won’t defrost
  • Heat pump won’t cool
  • Heat pump won’t turn on after changing thermostat
  • Heat pump won’t heat

1. Heat Pump Can’t Start

There are lots of reasons why your heat pump won’t turn on, so we recommend checking all of them. Sometimes they are as easy as correcting a thermostat setting or swapping your air filter.

Here’s what to check:

  • Is your thermostat on the proper setting? If you want air conditioning, make sure it’s set to “cool,” “auto” and that your setting is lower than the room temperature. If you want heat, it should be set to “heat,” “auto” and your setting should be greater than the current temperature. If you have a programmable thermostat, replace the batteries if the screen appears jumbled or blank.
  • Has the circuit breaker been tripped? Your heat pump won’t be able to turn on if it doesn’t have power. Reset the appropriate breaker if it’s facing the outside of the electrical panel.
  • Is the air filter blocked? A dirty air filter is problematic for your heat pump. If you can’t see light through it, it’s time to replace it.

If these steps don’t fix the issue, you’ll need to call a heating and cooling company like Western Mechanical, Inc..

Estimated Repair Cost

This problem can be complex, so how much it costs to correct it will depend on what’s wrong.

2. Heat Pump Can’t Shut Down

If it’s extremely hot or cold outside, your heat pump may need to run longer than normal to achieve your desired temperature.

If the weather is normal, check that your thermostat is set correctly and running normally. If the fan setting is at “on,” the blower motor on your air handler will go 24/7. So, it’ll sound like your heat pump is working all the time. Constantly running the blower can keep humidity levels under control, but it’ll also increase your electrical bills.

If your thermostat is set correctly, there are several other issues that could be causing your heat pump to run all the time. They include:

  • A new thermostat that isn’t compatible with your heat pump.
  • A malfunctioning compressor contactor, which controls the flow of electricity.
  • Leaky ductwork.

Estimated Repair Cost

This can be connected to many issues, so your heat pump repair cost will depend on the problem and how elaborate it is.

3. Heat Pump Won’t Defrost

Every now and then during cold weather, your heat pump will briefly go into cooling mode. This will dissolve light frost and ice that naturally builds up on the coils. A heat pump that becomes heavily iced over may struggle to heat your home or shut down completely.

Here are several reasons why this might be taking place:

  • Your heat pump doesn’t have sufficient airflow because it’s obstructed by snow, bushes or yard debris.
  • Your gutters are dripping water on top of your heat pump, causing an icy buildup.
  • A part is not working, which may involve the reversing valve, relays, controls or sensors.
  • The outdoor fan motor is damaged, dying or dead.
  • Your heat pump has a refrigerant leak. This is possible if you’re hearing bubbling or hissing noises. Or if you find a sweet, formaldehyde-like odor close to the outdoor unit.

Estimated Repair Cost

Like we talked about before, there are many reasons why your heat pump won’t defrost. But here are a few estimated costs for some of these issues. Keep in mind your cost may vary based on your heat pump brand, model and the degree of the issue.

  • Replace reversing valve: $200–$600
  • Replace outdoor fan motor: $250–$650
  • Repair refrigerant leak: Depends on the kind of refrigerant your heat pump uses. R-22 Freon is more expensive since it’s no longer being produced.

4. Heat Pump Can’t Produce Cool Air

Just like a heat pump that won’t turn on, a heat pump that won’t cool can be linked to many problems. We advise checking for:

  • Ideal thermostat settings
  • Tripped circuit breakers
  • A clogged air filter
  • Ice on your heat pump

If there’s nothing wrong with your thermostat, circuit breakers or air filter, you’ll need assistance from an HVAC technician to diagnose a problem with your ductwork or an iced-over heat pump. Like we reviewed earlier, a heat pump that won’t defrost might have an issue with its reversing valve, outdoor fan motor or a refrigerant leak.

Estimated Repair Costs

These repair costs are estimates. Your total charge may vary based on your heat pump brand, model and the scope of the problem.

  • Replace reversing valve: $200–$600
  • Replace outdoor fan motor: $250–$650
  • Repair refrigerant leak: Depends on the type of refrigerant your heat pump uses. R-22 Freon is pricier since it’s no longer being produced.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

5. Heat Pump Has Trouble Turning On After A Thermostat Change

If your heat pump won’t turn on after switching the thermostat, the problem is probably linked to your new thermostat. While you can install just about any thermostat with a furnace, the same isn’t accurate for heat pumps, especially if you need backup or emergency heating.

You can check your new thermostat by switching the fan mode to “on.” If you don’t hear the blower motor start in your air handler, there’s probably an issue with the thermostat.

A couple other typical thermostat problems include:

  • Wiring was done wrong.
  • Thermostat isn’t interacting with heat pump.
  • Thermostat is in emergency heat mode, which requires a reset.

It’s wise to have a heating and cooling professional recommend a thermostat and expertly install it. That way, you’ll stay away from any compatibility or wiring issues.

Estimated Repair Costs

The cost of professional thermostat installation depends greatly on what kind of thermostat you want. While programmable thermostats are cheaper, they lack the advanced features and convenience of a smart thermostat.

6. Heat Pump Isn’t Generating Heat

A heat pump that won’t heat is linked to similar problems with a heat pump that won’t cool. We encourage checking for:

  • Correct thermostat settings
  • Tripped circuit breakers
  • A dirty air filter
  • Ice on your heat pump

An icy heat pump or leaky ductwork will require the assistance of an HVAC technician. Ductwork is difficult to reach since it’s located behind walls and several issues can cause your heat pump to ice over.

Estimated Repair Costs

These repair costs are estimates. Your total cost may vary based on your heat pump brand, model and the magnitude of the issue.

  • Replace reversing valve: $200–$600
  • Replace outdoor fan motor: $250–$650
  • Repair refrigerant leak: Depends on the kind of refrigerant your heat pump uses. R-22 Freon is pricier since it’s no longer being made.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

Take Care of Any Heat Pump Problems Quickly and Affordably with Help from Local Experts

Dealing with a malfunctioning heat pump can be frustrating, but not when you call Western Mechanical, Inc.. Our professionals have been providing the quality, affordable heat pump repair Cache Valley homeowners have relied on since 1971. Contact us at 435-753-5515 to get your free estimate now.

Average repair costs are sourced from Fixr, which compiles estimates based on nationwide averages.