Your heat pump is an crucial part of your home because it delivers year-round comfort. But, like any home comfort system, it’s certain to encounter some issues every now and then.

Let’s review these issues and how much they might cost to fix, so you’ll have some idea before you call an HVAC technician. Some of the most typical 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 plenty 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 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 current temperature. If you want heating, it should be set to “heat,” “auto” and your setting should be 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 clogged? A dirty air filter is troublesome 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 Fal-Ken Heating & Cooling Corporation.

Estimated Repair Cost

This issue can be complicated, so how much it costs to correct it will depend on what’s wrong.

2. Heat Pump Isn’t Shutting 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 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 working all the time. Constantly using the blower can keep humidity levels under control, but it’ll also drive up your electrical bills.

If your thermostat is set correctly, there are a few other issues 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 connected to many issues, so your heat pump repair cost will depend on the problem and how difficult 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 normally builds up 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 taking place:

  • Your heat pump doesn’t have enough airflow because it’s obstructed by snow, bushes or yard debris.
  • Your gutters are leaking 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 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 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 degree 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 made.

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 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 help 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 an issue 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 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 manufactured.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

5. Heat Pump Malfunctions After A Thermostat Change

If your heat pump won’t turn on after altering the thermostat, the problem is probably linked to your new thermostat. While you can install 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 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 common 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 recommended to have a heating and cooling pro 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 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 linked to similar problems with a heat pump that won’t cool. We recommend checking for:

  • Correct thermostat settings
  • Tripped circuit breakers
  • A clogged air filter
  • Ice on your heat pump

An icy heat pump or leaky ductwork will require the help of an HVAC technician. Ductwork is tricky to reach since it’s located 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 problem.

  • 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 higher priced since it’s no longer being made.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

Fix Those Heat Pump Problems Quickly and Affordably with Our Help

Dealing with a malfunctioning heat pump can be frustrating, but not when you get in touch with Fal-Ken Heating & Cooling Corporation. Our professionals have been providing the quality, affordable heat pump repair Holbrook homeowners have relied on since 1995. Call us at 631-460-5159 to get your free estimate now.

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