Your heat pump is an essential part of your home because it produces year-round comfort. But, like any home comfort system, it’s likely to have some problems every now and then.

Let’s examine these problems 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 Won’t Turn On

There are lots of reasons why your heat pump won’t turn on, so we suggest checking all of them. Sometimes they are as simple as fixing a thermostat setting or replacing your air filter.

Here’s what to check:

  • Is your thermostat on the proper setting? If you want cooling, make sure it’s set to “cool,” “auto” and that your setting is lower than the room temperature. If you want heating, it should be set to “heat,” “auto” and your setting should be greater than the current temperature. If you use 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 does not 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 difficult 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 contact a heating and cooling company like Covington Air Systems.

Estimated Repair Cost

This issue 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 very hot or cold outside, your heat pump may need to operate longer than normal to reach your desired temperature.

If the weather is typical, 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 running 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 correctly, there are a few other problems that could be causing your heat pump to run all the time. They include:

  • A new thermostat that isn’t appropriate for your heat pump.
  • A malfunctioning compressor contactor, which regulates the flow of electricity.
  • Leaky ductwork.

Estimated Repair Cost

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

3. Heat Pump Can’t Remove Ice Buildup

Occasionally during cold weather, your heat pump will briefly go into cooling mode. This will melt light frost and ice that normally builds up on the coils. A heat pump that becomes heavily iced over may have difficulty heating your home or shut down completely.

Here are a few 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 malfunctioning, 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 discover a sweet, formaldehyde-like odor around the outdoor unit.

Estimated Repair Cost

Like we mentioned before, there are a few reasons why your heat pump won’t defrost. But here are a number 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 manufactured.

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 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 awry 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 expense may vary based on your heat pump brand, model and the extent 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.

5. Heat Pump Malfunctions After Changing Thermostat

If your heat pump won’t turn on after changing the thermostat, the problem is probably linked 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 have backup or emergency heating.

You can check your new thermostat by changing 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 include:

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

It’s recommended 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 considerably on what kind of thermostat you want. While programmable thermostats are less expensive, 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:

  • Appropriate 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 found behind walls and several issues can cause your heat pump to freeze up.

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 problem.

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

Fix Your Heat Pump Problems Quickly and Affordably with Help from Local Experts

Dealing with a malfunctioning heat pump can be frustrating, but not when you get in touch with Covington Air Systems. Our experts have been delivering the quality, affordable heat pump repair Covington homeowners have depended on since 1980. Call us at (770) 462-5319 to request your free estimate now.

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