Your heat pump is an important part of your home because it delivers year-round comfort. But, like any home comfort system, it’s likely to have some problems 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 contact 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 Isn’t Turning On

There are a lot of reasons why your heat pump won’t turn on, so we suggest checking all of them. Sometimes they are as easy as correcting a thermostat setting or replacing 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 room temperature. If you want heat, 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 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 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 correct the problem, you’ll need to call a heating and cooling company like Cooks Air Conditioning and Heating Specialists.

Estimated Repair Cost

This issue 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 run longer than normal to achieve your desired temperature.

If the weather is normal, 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 appear as though your heat pump is working all the time. Constantly running 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 appropriate for your heat pump.
  • A malfunctioning compressor contactor, which controls the flow of electricity.
  • Leaky ductwork.

Estimated Repair Cost

This can be linked to many issues, so your heat pump repair cost will depend on the problem and how elaborate 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 dissolve light frost and ice that normally accumulates on the coils. A heat pump that becomes totally frozen may have difficulty heating your home or shut down completely.

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 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 likely if you’re hearing bubbling or hissing sounds. Or if you notice 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 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 higher priced 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 troubles. We suggest 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 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 produced.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

5. Heat Pump Isn’t Starting After Upgrading the Thermostat

If your heat pump won’t turn on after switching the thermostat, the problem is probably tied to your new thermostat. While you can install 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 running in your air handler, there’s probably a problem with the thermostat.

A couple other typical thermostat problems include:

  • 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 issues.

Estimated Repair Costs

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

6. Heat Pump Can’t Work in Heating Mode

A heat pump that won’t heat is connected to similar problems with a heat pump that won’t cool. We recommend 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 assistance of an HVAC technician. Ductwork is tricky 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 concern.

  • 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.

Take Care of All Heat Pump Problems Quickly and Affordably with Our Help

Dealing with a malfunctioning heat pump can be frustrating, but not when you contact Cooks Air Conditioning and Heating Specialists. Our professionals have been supplying the quality, affordable heat pump repair Palm Coast homeowners have depended on since 2001. Get in touch with us at 386-313-8766 to get your free estimate now.

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