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

Let’s review 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 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 Isn’t Turning 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 easy as restoring a thermostat setting or swapping 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 heat, it should be set to “heat,” “auto” and your setting should be greater 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 does not have power. Reset the corresponding breaker if it’s facing the outside of the electrical panel.
  • Is the air filter blocked? A dirty air filter is problematic for your heat pump. If you can’t see light through it, it’s time to replace it.

If these steps don’t correct the issue, you’ll need to call a heating and cooling company like Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning.

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 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 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 increase your electrical bills.

If your thermostat is set correctly, 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 linked to a few issues, so your heat pump repair cost will depend on the problem and how complex it is.

3. Heat Pump Can’t Remove Ice Buildup

Every now and then during cold weather, your heat pump will temporarily go into cooling mode. This will melt light frost and ice that naturally accumulates on the coils. A heat pump that becomes totally frozen may struggle to heat your home or shut down altogether.

Here are several 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 leaking water on top of your heat pump, creating 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 find a sweet, formaldehyde-like odor around the outdoor unit.

Estimated Repair Cost

Like we discussed before, there are a few 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 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 more expensive since it’s no longer being made.

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 an issue with its reversing valve, outdoor fan motor or a refrigerant leak.

Estimated Repair Costs

These repair costs are estimates. Your total charge 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 uses. R-22 Freon is more expensive since it’s no longer being produced.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

5. Heat Pump Has Trouble Turning On After Changing Thermostat

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

A couple other typical 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 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 type of thermostat you want. While programmable thermostats are cheaper, they are missing the sophisticated 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 suggest 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 hard 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 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 higher priced since it’s no longer being manufactured.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

Take Care of 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 call Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning. Our pros have been providing the quality, affordable heat pump repair Savage homeowners have relied on since 1953. Get in touch with us at 952-373-0377 to get your free estimate now.

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