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

Let’s go over these problems and how much they might cost to fix, so you’ll have some idea before you call an HVAC technician. Some of the most common 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 Isn’t Turning On

There are a lot of reasons why your heat pump won’t turn on, so we recommend checking all of them. Sometimes they are as painless as restoring a thermostat setting or changing your air filter.

Here’s what to check:

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

If these steps don’t fix the problem, you’ll need to call a heating and cooling company like Air Masters Heating & Cooling.

Estimated Repair Cost

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

2. Heat Pump Stays On Constantly

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

If the weather is normal, check that your thermostat is set properly and running normally. If the fan setting is at “on,” the blower motor on your air handler will run 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 drive up your electrical bills.

If your thermostat is set properly, there are a few 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 regulates the flow of electricity.
  • Leaky ductwork.

Estimated Repair Cost

This can be related to a few 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 have difficulty heating your home or shut down altogether.

Here are a few reasons why this might be taking place:

  • Your heat pump doesn’t have enough airflow because it’s blocked by snow, bushes or yard debris.
  • Your gutters are dripping water on top of your heat pump, creating 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 sounds. Or if you discover a sweet, formaldehyde-like odor near the outdoor unit.

Estimated Repair Cost

Like we talked about before, there are a few 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 extent 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.

4. Heat Pump Isn’t Cooling

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

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

If there’s nothing faulty 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 a problem with its reversing valve, outdoor fan motor or a refrigerant leak.

Estimated Repair Costs

These repair costs are estimates. Your total expense may vary based on your heat pump brand, model and the scope 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 produced.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

5. Heat Pump Won’t Turn On After Upgrading the Thermostat

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

You can test your new thermostat by switching the fan mode to “on.” If you don’t hear the blower motor running in your air handler, there’s probably a problem with the thermostat.

A couple other common thermostat problems involve:

  • Wiring was done incorrectly.
  • 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 avoid any compatibility or wiring problems.

Estimated Repair Costs

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

6. Heat Pump Isn’t Generating Heat

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

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

An icy heat pump or leaky ductwork will require the help of an HVAC technician. Ductwork is tricky 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 extent 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.

Resolve All Heat Pump Problems Quickly and Affordably with Help from Local Experts

Dealing with a malfunctioning heat pump can be irritating, but not when you contact Air Masters Heating & Cooling. Our pros have been supplying the quality, affordable heat pump repair Port Orchard homeowners have depended on since 1986. Contact us at 360-205-7115 to get your free estimate now.

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