Average Repair Costs for 6 Typical Heat Pump Issues

December 02, 2021

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

Let’s go over these issues and how much they might cost to repair, 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 Won’t Turn 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 simple as fixing a thermostat setting or replacing 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 current temperature. If you want heating, it should be set to “heat,” “auto” and your setting should higher than the current temperature. If you have a programmable thermostat, put in new 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 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 get a new one.

If these steps don’t fix the problem, you’ll need to contact a heating and cooling company like Connolly Electric & Mechanical.

Estimated Repair Cost

This problem can be complicated, so how much it costs to fix 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 achieve your desired temperature.

If the weather is typical, check that your thermostat is set properly 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 drive up your electrical bills.

If your thermostat is set properly, 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 difficult it is.

3. Heat Pump Won’t Defrost

Occasionally during cold weather, your heat pump will briefly go into cooling mode. This will melt light frost and ice that normally accumulates on the coils. A heat pump that becomes heavily iced over may struggle to heat 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 blocked by snow, bushes or yard waste.
  • Your gutters are leaking water on top of your heat pump, creating an icy buildup.
  • A part is not working, 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 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 mentioned before, there are many reasons why your heat pump won’t defrost. But here are several 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 pricier since it’s no longer being produced.

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 problems. We recommend checking for:

  • Right 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 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 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.
  • 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 tied 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 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 a problem 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 involves 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 problems.

Estimated Repair Costs

The cost of professional thermostat installation depends greatly 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 Won’t Heat

A heat pump that won’t heat is linked to similar problems with a heat pump that won’t cool. We recommend 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 placed behind walls and multiple 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 level 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 runs on. 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 Connolly Electric & Mechanical. Our pros have been delivering the quality, affordable heat pump repair Cottonwood homeowners have depended on since 1997. Contact us at 928-639-4251 to request your free estimate now.

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