Average Repair Prices for 6 Common Heat Pump Issues

December 02, 2021

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

Let’s go over these issues and how much they might cost to fix, so you’ll have some idea before you contact an HVAC technician. Some of the most typical 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 Won’t Turn On

There are plenty of reasons why your heat pump won’t turn on, so we suggest checking all of them. Sometimes they are as easy as fixing 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 heating, it should be set to “heat,” “auto” and your setting should higher than the current temperature. If you use a programmable thermostat, put in new the batteries if the screen looks jumbled or blank.
  • Has the circuit breaker been tripped? Your heat pump won’t be able to run if it lacks power. Reset the corresponding 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 replace it.

If these steps don’t fix the issue, you’ll need to contact a heating and cooling company like Cool Air Solutions.

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 Won’t Turn Off

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

If the weather is normal, check that your thermostat is set correctly and operating 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 using the blower can keep humidity levels in check, but it’ll also increase your electrical bills.

If your thermostat is set properly, there are several other problems 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 linked to a lot of issues, so your heat pump repair cost will depend on the problem and how difficult it is.

3. Heat Pump Won’t Defrost

Occasionally during cold weather, your heat pump will temporarily 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 altogether.

Here are a few reasons why this might be happening:

  • Your heat pump doesn’t have enough airflow because it’s blocked by snow, bushes or yard waste.
  • Your gutters are leaking 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 likely if you’re hearing bubbling or hissing noises. Or if you notice a sweet, formaldehyde-like odor near the outdoor unit.

Estimated Repair Cost

Like we discussed 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 severity 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 more expensive since it’s no longer being manufactured.

4. Heat Pump Won’t Cool

Just like a heat pump that won’t turn on, a heat pump that won’t cool can be connected to many issues. We suggest checking for:

  • Right thermostat settings
  • Tripped circuit breakers
  • A dirty 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 discussed 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 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 type of refrigerant your heat pump uses. R-22 Freon is more expensive since it’s no longer being manufactured.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

5. Heat Pump Won’t Turn On After Changing Thermostat

If your heat pump won’t turn on after changing the thermostat, the problem is probably connected110 to your new thermostat. While you can use just about any thermostat with a furnace, the same isn’t accurate for heat pumps, especially if you have 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 running in your air handler, there’s probably a problem with the thermostat.

A couple other typical thermostat problems involve:

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

It’s wise to have a heating and cooling pro 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 kind of thermostat you want. While programmable thermostats are cheaper, they are missing the advanced features and convenience of a smart thermostat.

6. Heat Pump Won’t 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 dirty air filter
  • Ice on your heat pump

An icy heat pump or leaky ductwork will require the help of an HVAC technician. Ductwork is difficult to reach since it’s placed behind walls and multiple 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 level 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 more expensive since it’s no longer being produced.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

Resolve Your Heat Pump Problems Quickly and Affordably with Our Help

Dealing with a malfunctioning heat pump can be frustrating, but not when you call Cool Air Solutions. Our professionals have been supplying the quality, affordable heat pump repair Murrieta homeowners have relied on since 2006. Contact us at 951-299-9853 to request your free estimate now.

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