Your heat pump is an crucial part of your home because it provides year-round comfort. But, like any home comfort system, it’s likely to encounter some problems once in a while.

Let’s go over 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 plenty of reasons why your heat pump won’t turn on, so we recommend checking all of them. Sometimes they are as easy as fixing a thermostat setting or swapping your air filter.

Here’s what to check:

  • Is your thermostat on the right 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 be higher 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 run if it doesn’t have power. Reset the matching breaker if it’s facing the outside of the electrical panel.
  • Is the air filter dirty? A dirty air filter is difficult 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 Haselhoff Air Solutions.

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 Can’t Shut Down

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 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 running all the time. Constantly using the blower can keep humidity levels in check, but it’ll also drive up 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 regulates the flow of electricity.
  • Leaky ductwork.

Estimated Repair Cost

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

3. Heat Pump Isn’t Defrosting

Every now and then during cold weather, your heat pump will briefly go into cooling mode. This will melt light frost and ice that naturally builds up on the coils. A heat pump that becomes totally frozen 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 waste.
  • Your gutters are dripping water on top of your heat pump, causing an icy buildup.
  • A part is malfunctioning, which may include 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 sounds. Or if you find a sweet, formaldehyde-like odor around 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 severity 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 pricier 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 associated to many troubles. We recommend checking for:

  • Correct thermostat settings
  • Tripped circuit breakers
  • A dirty 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 identify 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 cost 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 manufactured.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

5. Heat Pump Malfunctions After Upgrading the Thermostat

If your heat pump won’t turn on after altering the thermostat, the problem is probably tied 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 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 an issue with the thermostat.

A couple other common thermostat problems involve:

  • Wiring was done incorrectly.
  • 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 cheaper, they are missing the advanced 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 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 assistance of an HVAC technician. Ductwork is tricky to reach since it’s found behind walls and numerous 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 concern.

  • Replace reversing valve: $200–$600
  • Replace outdoor fan motor: $250–$650
  • Repair refrigerant leak: Depends on the kind of refrigerant your heat pump runs on. R-22 Freon is pricier since it’s no longer being manufactured.
  • 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 annoying, but not when you get in touch with Haselhoff Air Solutions. Our pros have been delivering the quality, affordable heat pump repair Ames homeowners have relied on since 2011. Call us at 515-450-8739 to request your free estimate now.

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